Skip to main content

Full text of "The story of Siena and San Gimignano"

See other formats

Presented to the 


by the 



The Story of Siena 


San Gimignano 

The Medieval Town Series 


[+th Edition. 


SMITH. {yd Edition. 



[2nd Edition. 

tCAMBRIDGE. By the Rt. Rev. C. 

W. STUBBS, D.D. [znd Edition. 


[2nd Edition. 

H UTTON. [ 3 rd Edition. 



NER. [8M Edition. 
LEY. [znd Edition. 

[2nd Edition. 

LAM. [f,th Edition. 

LINA Du FF GORDON. [6th Edition. 
tPISA. By JANET Ross. 

[vnd Edition. 

[$th Edition. 

[yd Edition. 


[2nd Edition. 

[2nd Edition. 

[yd Edition. 

[yd Edition. 

The price of these marked '(*) is y. 6d. 
net in cloth, 4*. 6d. net in leather; 
(t), 4^. 6d. net in cloth, 55. 6d. net 
in leather. 


O ' 
The Story of Si 


k*5T ?/ 

>? ,'OIS! \ ' 


by Edmund G. Gardner 

Illustrated by Helen M. James 

London: J. M, Dent & Co. 

Aldine House, 29 and 30 Bedford Street 

Co-vent Gttiti? C. * * 1909 


iyw?^ -I 


All rights reserved 





first &amon, January 1904 
Second Edition, April 1905 
Third Edition, October 1909 






"THIS present volume is intended to provide a popular 
history of the great Republic of Siena, in such a 
form that it can also serve as a guide-book to that most 
fascinating of Tuscan cities and its neighbourhood. San 
Gimignano has been included, because no visitor to Siena 
leaves the " fair town called of the Fair Towers " un- 
visited ; I have made special reference to it in the title 
of the book, to lay stress upon the point that, although 
for administrative purposes San Gimignano is included 
in the province (and in the ctrcondario) of Siena, its 
history is practically distinct from that of Siena and is 
more intimately connected with the story of Florence. 

The appended list of books and authorities, needless 
to say, is not a complete bibliography, nor even a cata- 
logue of those quoted in the course of this work. It 
only represents some of those that my readers will find 
most useful and helpful, or that will supply further in- 
formation upon many topics which the limits of this 
series of Mediaeval Towns have compelled me to treat 
somewhat cursorily and scantily. 

The lamented death of Miss Helen M. James de- 
prived us of her assistance in the illustration of the last 
three chapters, more especially of the two dealing with 
San Gimignano. Her work has been at the service of 



this series from the beginning ; but it is, perhaps, especi- 
ally those who have had the privilege of knowing her, 
and who have had the opportunity of appreciating her 
character and her personality, that will realise the great- 
ness of this loss. My friend and publisher, Mr J. M. 
Dent, associates himself with me in dedicating this 
volume to her memory. 

E. G. G. 

October 1902. 




The Republic of Siena . . . . . I 

Saint Catherine of Siena . . . . 43 

The People and the Petrucci . , . . 67 

The Sculptors and Painters of Siena . . 99 


The Campo of Siena and the Palace of the 

Commune . . . . . .126 

The Duomo and the Baptistery . . .149 


In the Footsteps of Saint Catherine . . . 184 




The Last Days of the Republic . . . 2IO 

Through the City of the Virgin . 246 

Some Famous Convents and Monasteries . . 298 

San Gimignano . . . . , .324 

In the Town of the Beautiful Towers . 344 

The Family of Pope Pius the Second . . 297 
Bibliographical Appendix . . . 366 

General Index . . . . . 373 


\Tlic Ecstasy of St Catherine. Detail of Bazzi's 

Fresco. Photogravure. . . . Frontispiece 


Siena from behind San Domenico ... 3 

In Caste/ Vecchio, the oldest part of Siena . . 8 

*0n the Battlefield of Montaperti . . facing 1 7 
A street in Siena . . . . . . 24 

La Croce del Travaglio . . . 35 
La Lupa ....... 42 

*St Catherine of Siena (Andrea di Vann'i} . facing 47 
* Letter from St Catherine to Stefano Maconi 

(Dictated by her to Barduccio Canigiant) facing 56 
St Catherine's Lamp . . . . . 65 
The Mangia Tower . . . . 69 

\The Elevation of Enea Silvio Piccolomini to the 

Papacy as Pius II. (Pinturicchio} . facing 73 
Via Fontebranda . . . . . . 77 

The Porta Romana . . . . 95 

~\The Font of San Giovanni di Siena (Giacomo 

della Quercia] .... facing 104 

Bastion outside Porta Pispini, erected by Baldassare 

Peruzzi . . . . . . 1 1 6 

Via Giovanni Dupre . . . . .121 

The Palazzo Pubblico . . . . . 133 

The Market-place 146 

The Duomo . . . . . , .151 
Interior of the Duomo . . . . .163 




Steps beside the Baptistery . . . . 180 

Fontebranda . . . . . . .189 

House of St Catherine . . . , 193 

Via della Galluzza . . . . .109 

A suburban Chapel . . . . . 212 

Banner-holder in the Piazza Pastier la . . 217 

An oldfanalein the Piazza San Giusto . . 223 

Via dei Termini . . . . . .229 

Porta Ovi/e . . . . . . 237 

Remains of a Mural Tower . , . .244 

Palazzo Saracini . . , . , .249 

The Tower of S ant 1 Ansano . . . . 255 

Pozzo della Diana . . . . .259 

Via delle Sperandie . . . . .263 

Via della Fonte . . . . . .267 

Fonte San Maurizio . . . . .279 

Piazza and Palazzo Tolomei . . . . 287 

At the older circuit of the walls . . . 296 

Fountain outside Porta Ovile . . . .299 

*Maurus and Placidus (Bazzi^ . , fa ctn 320 

| Towers ot San Gimignano . . . facing 326 

| Palazzo del Podesta .... facing 351 

| Piazza della Cisterna and Torre Cortesi . facing 354 

Map of Siena ..... facing 372 

* These illustrations are reproduced, "with permission^ from photo- 
graphs by Messrs Lombardi of Siena. 

f These illustrations are reproduced, ivtth permission, from photo- 
graphs by ^tcssrs Alinari of Florence. 

J These illustrations are from drawings by J, F, Leigh Clare. 

We are indebted to Signor Enrico Torrini of Siena for permission 
to make use of his map. 

The remaining illustrations are all from draiuings by Helen M. James. 



*' WfeV ,3 

The Story of Siena 


San Gimignano 


The Republic of Siena 

CIENA remains the most perfectly mediaeval of all the 
*r larger cities of Tuscany. Its narrow streets, its 
spacious Gothic palaces and churches, the three hills 
upon which it rises enthroned, with the curiously pictur- 
esque valleys between them, are still inclosed in frowning 
walls of the fourteenth century. The Renaissance came 
to it late, gave it its enduring epithet of " soft Siena," 
and blended harmoniously, almost imperceptibly, with its 
mediaeval spirit. 

According to the more picturesque of the traditions 
respecting its origin, Siena was founded by Senius, the 
son of Remus, who brought with him the image of the 
Lupa, the she-wolf suckling the twins, which still remains 
the city's badge. When he offered sacrifice to his gods, 
a dense black smoke arose from the altar of Apollo and 
a pure white smoke from that of Diana in commemora- 
tion of which was made the balzana, the black and white 

The Story of Siena 

shield of the Commune that we still see upon Siena's 
gates and public buildings. There are two other shields 
associated with it : a blue shield with the word Ltbertas 
in gold letters ; a red shield with a white lion rampant. 
According to other traditions, scarcely more his- 
torical, the first was granted to Siena by Charlemagne, 
the second (the arms of the People) by the Emperor 

Siena was a place of very small importance during the 
dark ages. As in the case of its neighbour and rival, 
Florence, its epoch of greatness begins with the earlier 
decades of the twelfth century, in the confused period 
that followed the death of the Countess Matilda of 
Tuscany. Throughout the greater part of the twelfth 
century and at the beginning of the thirteenth, the 
Republic of Siena was nominally ruled by Consuls, who 
up to the middle of the twelfth century shared their 
authority with the Bishop. They were men of noble 
rank, usually three or sometimes six in number, elected 
by the people in the parliament that met either before the 
then Romanesque Duomo or in the Piazza di San 
Cristofano, to hold office for one year. At first the 
nobles were the greater power in the State ; some at 
least were the descendants of the foreign invaders, the 
counts and barons of the Prankish and German Emperors, 
and the result of their prepotency was naturally combined 
with the territorial rivalry with Florence to make Siena 
throw in its lot with the Ghibellines, when the great 
struggle between Papacy and Empire, between republican 
ideals and feudal traditions, divided Italy. Gradually 
five noble families came to stand out pre-eminently as the 
schiatte magglori, with special privileges from the Re- 
public and a predominating influence in the State, names 
that we shall meet with again and again in Siena's 
story ; the Piccolomini, the Tolomei, the Malavolti, 
the Salimbeni and the Saracini. The Salimbeni were 


The Republic of Siena 

the richest and exercised considerable territorial sway 
in the contado ; the Piccolomini claimed to be of 
pure Latin descent, and were undoubtedly of more 
democratic tendencies. These nobles were divided 
against themselves; there was bitter feud between 
the Salimbeni and the Tolomei, between the Mala- 
volti and the Piccolomini. And presently the people 
took advantage of this to rise and claim their share 
in the administration of the city, and in the refor- 
mation of 1147 they obtained a third part of the 

Gradually the Republic of Siena extended its sway 
over the neighbouring townlets and over the castelle of 
the contado, whose feudal lords were forced to reside in 
the city for some months in the year, to fight for the 
Commune in war. In spite of internal factions and dis- 
sensions, the city increased in wealth and prosperity ; its 
commerce was largely extended ; fugitives from Milan, 
flying from the Teutonic arms of Frederick Barbarossa, 
introduced the Art of Wool ; Sienese gentlemen, led 
by Filippo Malavolti a noble whom we dimly discern 
as a great figure in those far-off republican days sailed 
to Syria in Pisan galleys and shared in the capture of 
Acre. Notwithstanding its traditional support of the 
imperial cause, it was in this century that Siena gave to 
the Church the " great Pope of the Lombard League " 
Orlando Bandinelli, who during his long pontificate 
as Alexander III. (from 1159 to 1181) knew how to 
uphold the rights of Italy no less than the claims of the 
Papacy against the mightiest of the Kaisers. And, 
indeed, the Ghibellinism of the Sienese was always of a 
patriotic Italian type. In 1 1 86 they closed their gates 
in the face of Barbarossa, believing that he meant to 
deprive them of their contado, and hurled back his son 
Henry discomfited from the Poita Camellia. At the 
close of the century, Siena began to have a Podesta as 


The Story of Siena 

chief magistrate, like the other cities of Tuscany, who 
was probably at the outset an imperial nominee, and the 
consular government appears to have ceased by about 
1 21 2 ; while the people became associated into Arts 
or Guilds, somewhat resembling the more famous 
Florentine associations, whose representatives sat in the 
councils of the Republic and had their voice in the affairs 
of State. 1 Already the glorious Duomo, though need- 
less to say not in its present form, had been consecrated 
by Pope Alexander, and the Dogana stood on the site 
of the present Palazzo Comunale, a sign of increasing 
commercial prosperity. A great part of the public 
authority was now in the hands of the Camarlingo and 
the four Provveditori di Biccherna, the officials who 
presided over the finances of the Republic. Though 
for a few years we still find the names of consuls, the 
Podesta was from 1199 onwards the chief officer of the 
State; we find in 1200 and in 1201 that Filippo 
Malavolti held this office, but after 1211 it was invari- 
ably assigned to a foreigner. In 1208 the oldest of 
the Siencse palaces, the Palazzo Tolomei, was built ; 
although burned by the people on at least two occa- 
sions, it still retains not a little of its early mediaeval 

Throughout the greater part of the twelfth and 
thirteenth centuries, Siena usually more or less allied 
with Pisa, Pistoia and the Conti Guidi was engaged in 
a series of wars with Florence, an intermittent struggle 
alternating with hollow, insincere treaties of peace. 
This was due to the antagonistic ideals of Guelf and 
Ghibelline, to the growing commercial rivalry between 
the two republics, each especially striving to get into the 

1 Rondoni (Sena vetus, p. 53) notes that, in contrast to 
Florence, there was no distinction between the Greater and 
Lesser Arts in Siena. 


The Republic of Siena 

hands of its own merchants and noble bankers all the 
increasingly lucrative affairs of the Roman Curia, and, 
perhaps, more immediately to the fact that each was 
striving to extend its contado at the expense of the 
other. Poggibonsi, Colle di Val d'Elsa, Montalcino 
and Montepulciano in which right was probably with 
Siena and might with Florence were perpetual sources 
of contention, and the Sienese suffered severe defeats 
time after time. " Do not forget through eternity 
those that deny thee, that withdraw themselves from the 
homage they owe thee, that plot against thee and that 
bring shame to thee." So runs the black book of the 
Commune, the Memoriale delle Offese, in which these 
things were recorded. " Be mindful of Montepulciano, 
that, though it be of thy contado, most proudly 
endeavours to withdraw itself therefrom." * Grosseto 
was the first place of importance that, in 1224, fell 
permanently into the hands of the Sienese, a town pre- 
viously swayed by the Counts Aldobrandeschi of Santa 
Fiora, those most potent nobles of the Sienese contado 
whose pride and whose imperialistic tendencies are 
recorded by Dante. 

Within the city the factions raged furiously. The 
power of the nobles or gentiluomini was waning, even in 
Ghibelline Siena. It was laid to their charge that the 
wars with Florence had taken so unfavourable a turn, 
that the Florentines were ravaging the contado, had 
hurled donkeys into Siena with their catapults, and on 
one occasion had even penetrated into the city itself. 
By what appears to have been a comparatively peaceful 
revolution in 1233, the people obtained an increased 
share in the government ; a supreme magistracy of 
Twenty-four was created, elected annually by the General 

1 Printed in the Archivio Storico Italiano, series III. vol. 


The Story of Siena 

Council, eight from each terzo of the city, half from 
each order. 1 But their rule became irksome to the 

more conserva- 
tive section of 
the nobles, who 
formed a rival 
party and strove 
to oust the popo- 
lani from power. 
In 1240 it came 
to blood, to 
adopt the Dant- 
esque phrase. 
The opponents 
of the new 
regime, headed 
by the Podesta, 
Manfredi da 
Sassuolo, rose 
in arms; the 
people, led by a 
certain Aldo- 
brandino di 
Guido Cacci- 
aconti, who is 
described as one 
of the " grandi 
del popolo di 
Siena," and who 
was of an old 
feudal family, 
rallied round 
the Twenty- 
four. The battle began in three places in the city. 

1 Siena is still divided into terzl or thirds ; the Terzo di 
Citta, the Terzo di San Martino, the Terzo di Camollia. 


In Castel Vecchio, 

the oldest part of Siena 

The Republic of Siena 

There was fighting up and down the narrow streets ; 
there was flaming of torches and clashing of weapons 
round the palaces and towers. The Palazzo Tolomei 
and the Palazzo Malavolti were burned, and after 
much devastation and bloodshed, when many had 
fallen on either side, the Twenty-four got the upper- 
hand, drove out a certain number of the nobles, and 
appointed Aldobrandino Podesta. He was a strong 
and prudent man, who put down disorder with a firm 
hand, and reconciled many of the leaders of either party. 
In the comparative tranquillity that followed, the streets 
and squares of Siena were paved for the first time. But 
the struggle with Florence proved disastrous. The 
Sienese were forced to make a disadvantageous peace, 
and, in 1255, there was an alliance concluded between the 
rival republics, in the epoch of Guelf predominance that 
followed the deaths of Frederick II. and King Conrad. 
It was in this brief breathing space, of external peace 
and internal tranquillity, that a knight of Siena, Messer 
Folcacchiero de ? Folcacchieri, wrote what was once 
thought to be the earliest extant example of a regular 
canzone, describing his own hapless plight through love : 
Tutto lo mondo vive senzaguerra : " All the world is living 
without war, yet I can find no peace." The constitution 
at this time shows the usual bewildering number of separate 
councils that we find in mediaeval Italian republics. The 
four Provveditori di Biccherna with their Camarlingo still 
administered the revenues of the State, the executive was 
in the hands of the Podesta and Captain. Laws were 
discussed and approved in the General Council of the 
Campana, composed of " three hundred good Catholics, 
not excommunicated nor suspected of heresy." There 
was nominally a Parliament, which the Podesta and 
Captain could not summon without the consent of two- 
thirds of the Council of the Campana, and without pre- 
viously explaining what they intended to propose. But 


The Story of Siena 

" the Twenty-four were the informing soul of the con- 
stitution, and once a month they met in secret council 
without the Podesta and Captain." l 

But it was not for long that the Lion shook hands 
with the Wolf, as we see them at a later epoch on the 
pavement of the Duomo. Florence was now the pre- 
dominant power in Tuscany, fiercely democratic and 
strenuously Guelf ; while Pisa and Siena alone clung to 
the discredited cause of the Ghibellines, the latter thirsting 
to recover Montalcino which had been lost in the last war. 
Away in the south, Frederick's heroic son, King Manfred, 
was upholding the claims of the imperial house of Suabia, 
and Siena looked to him. A band of exiled Florentines 
came to Siena in 1258, led by that tremendous Ghibelline 
noble whom Dante was afterwards to see rising from his 
fiery tomb as though he held all Hell in scorn, the man 
whom the triumph of the Guelfs would torture more than 
all the torments of his burning bed: Farinata degli 
Uberti. In spite of the express terms of the treaty, 
Sit na turned a deaf ear to the remonstrance of her nominal 
ally, and refuse J to expel the fugitives. War being now 
inevitable, ambassadors were sent to Manfred to obtain 
his aid. The price of the royal assistance was that the 
Sienese should swear fidelity and obedience to him. 
This was done, and in May 1259, from Lucera, the 
King received the Commune under his protection. To 
a second embassy, praying him to take the imperial crown 
and to send a captain with an army into Tuscany, Manfred 
answered that he loved Siena above all the cities of Italy, 
and that he would shortly send to those parts such a 
captain of his own blood and so great a force of armed 
men with him "that he shall make the rough ways 
smooth, and rule that province in peace." 2 And in 

1 Rondoni, op. cit. p. 60. 

8 of August nth, 1259, still preserved in the Archivio 
di Stato of Siena, quoted by Paoli, La Battaglia di Montaperti, p. 1 3. 

The Republic of Siena 

December the Count Giordano d'Anglano, the King's 
near kinsman, appeared in Siena, with a small force of 
Germans. He at once took the field in the Maremma, 
where Grosseto and Montemassi had rebelled from Siena, 
and forced the former town to surrender in February. 
Hearing that the Florentines were making huge pre- 
parations, and were sending supplies to Montepulciano 
and Montalcino, another embassy was sent to Manfred 
in March, headed by the most influential citizen of Siena, 
Provenzano Salvani. 

No sooner had spring come than the Florentine army, 
headed by their Podesta, Jacopino Rangoni of Modena, 
entered the territory of the republic and advanced upon 
Siena by way of Colle and Montereggioni, forcing the 
Sienese to raise the siege of Montemassi, and to withdraw 
all their troops for the defence of the city. On the 
morning of May i8th, there was a smart engagement at 
Santa Petronilla outside the Porta Camollia. A small 
force of Germans and Sienese made a vigorous sortie, in 
which the Germans bore the brunt of the fighting, lost 
the greater part of their number killed, and the royal 
banner fell into the hands of the Florentines, who retired 
to their encampment, having suffered severely in killed 
and wounded. They broke up their camp and retreated 
on the 2Oth, almost simultaneously with the return of 
Provenzano and his colleagues to Siena followed by 
a strong force of German and Italian mercenaries from 
the King. 1 The war was at once renewed with activity, 
Provenzano Salvani being the leading spirit through- 

1 The documents cited by Paoli prove conclusively that the 
story, told by Giovanni Villani, of Farinata contriving that the 
Germans should be annihilated at Santa Petronilla and the 
royal standard lost, in order that Manfred might be induced 
to send a larger force, has no historical foundation. Neither 
is it a fact that the Sienese were forced to induce the Florentines 
to resume hostilities because the Germans had been hired for 
only three months. 


The Story of Siena 

out. Montemassi was taken and Montalcino rigorously 

The critical condition of Montalcino combined with 
Ghibelline intrigues to bring the Florentines again into 
the field. Farinata and his fellow exiles gave the anzianty 
who then ruled in Florence, to understand that Siena 
was thirsting for a change of government, for the over- 
throw of the Twenty-four, and the banishment of 
Provenzano, " who was the greatest popolano of Siena," 
and that the nobles were prepared to sell the city to the 
Florentines. In spite of the strenuous opposition of 
Tegghiaio Aldobrandino and the Conte Guidoguerra, 
the Florentines decided instantly to resume hostilities 
nominally to relieve Montalcino, in reality to destroy Siena. 
They called the people to arms to follow the standards 
of their companies, summoned aid from Lucca and 
Bologna and all the Guelf cities of their league. At the 
beginning of September the army of Florence with the 
Carroccio or battle car of the Republic, over which floated 
the red and white standard of the Commune, entered the 
Sienese contado, where it was joined by the men of 
Perugia and Orvieto. Without counting these, there 
were at least 3000 horsemen and more than 30,000 
infantry ; but there were traitors in the army, in secret 
understanding with the enemy. From their camp beyond 
the Arbia, the captain and commissaries of the Florentines 
sent ambassadors to the Sienese, to demand their instant 
and absolute submission. " Straightway throw down your 
walls," they began, " in order that we may enter your 
city at whatever place likes us best." 

Forthwith the Twenty-four of Siena summoned the 
council to meet in the church of San Cristofano. There 
was some wavering at first. The worthy burghers knew 
nothing of the secret dealings of the Florentine exiles 
(to which, probably, Provenzano alone was privy), but 
had heard much of the might and fierceness of the in- 


7 he Republic of Siena 

vading forces, and several of the council urged a com- 
promise. At once Provenzano Salvani sprang to his 
feet and bade them summon the Count Giordano. The 
Count came and, with the sixteen German constables, 
his seneschal and an interpreter, stood before the council. 
There was no thought of surrender then ; the Germans 
shouted with delight at the prospect of double pay and 
speedy fighting, and Salimbene Salimbeni at once hurried 
to his palace and returned with the money, driving through 
the piazza in a cart covered with scarlet and decked 
with olive. Through his mouth the Twenty-four 
gave their reply to the Florentine herald : " Go back 
to your captain and the commissaries, and tell them that 
we shall answer them by word of mouth on the field." 
The whole city was arming ; before the church, the 
piazza of the Tolomei and all the streets leading to it 
were packed with a wildly expectant and ever increasing 
crowd. While away in the Duomo the Bishop assembled 
the clergy and religious, with bare feet moving in solemn 
procession to implore the divine aid against "the impious 
appetites of the Florentines," the Twenty-four had 
elected Buonaguida Lucari sindaco with full powers 
practically Dictator. 

" Men of Siena," cried Buonaguida from the steps of 
San Cristofano, " ye all know how we have recommended 
ourselves to the protection of King Manfred ; let us now 
surrender ourselves, our goods and persons, our city and 
our contado with all our rights, to the Queen of Eternal 
Life, to our Lady and Mother, the Virgin Mary. 
Follow me now, all of you, with purity of faith and 
freedom of will, to make this offering." 

Bareheaded and barefooted, clad like a beggar with a 
halter round his neck, the Dictator solemnly carried the 
keys of the city to the Duomo, followed by the people, 
barefooted too, and crying continually, misericordia, 
misericordia. There all the clergy met them, and at 


The Story of Siena 

the foot of the choir the Bishop and Dictator solemnly 
embraced, in pledge of the complete union of Church and 
State, while hereditary foes fell into each other's arms. 
Then after silent prayer, prostrate before the altar, the 
Dictator in an impassioned harangue formally made over 
the city and contado of Siena to the Mother of Heaven, 
while the Bishop mounted the pulpit and solemnly ex- 
horted the people to mutual forgiveness and to approach 
the sacraments. The next day there was a long pro- 
cession through the streets, the keys were blessed and 
given over to the keeping of the Gonfalonieri (the elected 
heads of the three terzi). All night the churches 
had been thronged by crowds approaching the confes- 
sionals, by enemies seeking reconciliation with each 
other, and at daybreak the Twenty-four sent three 
heralds with the banners of each terzo to call the 
people to arms in the name of God and of the Virgin 

It was Friday, September 3rd. The whole army con- 
sisted of a little more than 20,000 men. There were 
800 Germans and other royal horsemen with the imperial 
banner, under Count Giordano and the Count of Arras ; 
400 more horsemen, partly Germans and partly noble 
Sienese, under the Count Aldobrandino degli Aldobran- 
deschi of Santa Fiora and Niccolo de' Bigozzi, seneschal 
of the Commune. The Florentine and other Ghibelline 
exiles, under the Count Guido Novello and Farinata, 
were partly with Giordano, partly with Count Aldobran- 
dino. There were 19,000 citizen infantry from the 
three terzi of the city and the contado, under the 
Podesta, Francesco Troghisio, and their three Gonfalo- 
nieri, with the Carroccio of the Republic over which 
floated a white standard " that gave right good comfort, 
for it seemed the mantle of the Virgin Mary." A 
number of priests, some of them armed, accompanied the 
army ; the rest with the Bishop, old men and women, 

The Republic of Siena 

spent the day fasting, going in procession from church 
to church throughout the city reciting litanies and the 
like. They marched out of the Porta Pispini and oc- 
cupied the hill of Monteropoli beyond which, in the 
plain of the Cortine between the Biena and the Malena 
(little streams that join the Arbia), and on the opposite 
hill of Monteselvoli, lay the Guelf army its leaders 
confidently expecting a revolution in Siena in their 
favour and the speedy surrender of one of the gates of 
the city. All during the night the Sienese harassed the 
Florentine camp, and on Saturday morning, September 
4th, the battle began. 

The Count of Arras, with some 400 horse and foo. 
advancing along the Biena, moved round Monteselvoli 
to fall upon the Florentine left flank ; while the rest of 
the army left their hill, crossed the Arbia and approached 
the enemies* position the Florentines in the valley 
hastening up their own side of Monteselvoli to join the 
main body. The German heavy cavalry commenced 
the assault, dashing like dragons into the ranks of the 
men of Prato, Arezzo and Lucca, horse and men falling 
in heaps before their terrible lances. The Count Gior- 
dano led his tedeschi straight for the centre of the 
Guelfic army, where the " martinella " rang continuously 
over the Carroccio of Florence, round which the flowei 
of the burgher army stood. The Count Aldobrandino 
with his cavalry and the eager Sienese followed up the 
German onslaught ; but the resistance was long and 
stubborn. At last Bocca degli Abati, the traitor in the 
troop of Florentine nobles, hostis e cive factus as Leo- 
nardo Bruni puts it, struck Jacopo Pazzi with his sword 
on the arm that upheld one of the standards of the 
Republic ; a portion of the cavalry went over to the 
enemy ; the rest, seeing themselves betrayed, took to 
flight. Simultaneously the Count of Arras with the re- 
serve, shouting " San Giorgio ! San Giorgio ! " burst 


The Story of Siena 

furiously upon the Florentine flank. Then came, in 

Dante's immortal phrase, "the havoc and the great 

slaughter that dyed the Arbia red." The Sienese, 

writes the chronicler Niccolo di Giovanni Ventura, 

" seemed like unchained lions rushing upon their foes ; 

little did it avail these to call on San Zanobi or Santa 

Liperata for aid, for they made a greater slaughter of 

them than do the butchers of their beasts on Good 

Friday." The infantry were driven from their position 

down into the valley, only to be ruthlessly massacred. 

A band of Florentine burghers the flower of the 

" Primo Popolo stood to the end in heroic desperation 

.. l ound the Carroccio and the standards, and fell in their 

81 places, resisting to the last, embracing and kissing the 

J 5 blood-stained wood of the car as they died. A number 

of the fugitives took refuge in the little castle of Mon- 

*aperto and held out there till later in the day, when it 

as stormed and they were all put to the sword. It 

as not until evening had come that the Count Giordano 

and the Gonfalonieri of the Sienese bade that quarter 

should be given and prisoners accepted. The number of 

the slain Guelfs probably lies somewhere between 10,000, 

which is the Sienese estimate, and the 2500 given by 

Villani. The Carroccio had been taken ; the popolo 

vecchio of Florence was " broken and annihilated,'* in 

Villani's terribly expressive phrase ; every house in 

Florence had lost members, and the allied cities suffered 

only slightly less. Twelve thousand prisoners are said 

to have been taken. 1 

1 The Sienese accounts of the battle by Domenico Aldobran- 
dini and Niccolo di Giovanni Ventura (in which, says Prof. 
d'Ancona, the narrative has " una grandezza veramente epica ") 
are in Porri's Miscellanea Storica Senese; for the Florentine version 
see Villani, vi. 75-79, and Leonardo Bruni, Istoria Fiorentina II. 
(vol. i. pp. 215-225 in the edition of 1855). Cf. Villari, / 
primi due tecoli della Storia di Firtnzt, ch. iv., and especially 
C. Paoli, La Baitaglia di Montaperti^ already referred to. 11 


The Republic of Siena 

We should visit the battle-field to-day, for the walk 
or drive is one of the pleasantest in the neighbourhood 
of Siena. About four miles beyond the Porta Pispini 
we cross the Bozzone, and then, to the left, ascend the 
long, low hill of Monteropoli. This was the Sienese 
position before the battle. Opposite is Monteselvoli, 
and at our feet the Arbia, and between the two long hills 
the valley. The contadini take an uncanny pleasure in 
showing us the way, in pointing out and naming the 
various sites that witnessed the struggle. Away to the 
left, above the Malena nearly an hour's walk from the 
small railway station of Arbia is the spot where the 
battle ended. A steep little hill, the lower part of 
which is a vineyard, is crowned with olive trees and 
cypresses, surrounding a pyramid of rough brown stone. 
The view that it commands is grand and sweeping ; the 
black and barren hills to the south east ; Santafiore hid 
in clouds to the south ; and westwards the blood-stained 
valley of the battle-field, beyond which rises Siena 
itself with its towers, behind which the sun was 
already sinking when the Florentines made their last 

From the tower of the Marescotti (now of the 
Palazzo Saracini), Cerreto Ceccolini had watched the 
whole fight, beating his drum in signal to the people in 
the streets below, telling them of the course of the 
struggle, bidding them cry to God and the Madonna 
while the event hung in doubt, to shout in exultation 
when the day was won. 

The victorious army rested that night on Monte- 
ropoli, with their prisoners and booty. They made their 
solemn entry into Siena the next day by the same gate 
through which they had passed out to the war, the 

Libra di Montaferti, edited by Prof. Paoli (Florence, 1889), is 
" the only official document of Florentine source which remains 
to us of that war." 

B I 7 

The Story of Siena 

German nobles and soldiers crowned with garlands of 
olive, singing songs in their own tongue as they made 
their way in triumphant procession to the Duomo. 
Three days of general supplication and thanksgiving 
followed ; to the title Sena vetus was added by solemn 
decree Civitas Virginis, to the litany an Advocata Senen- 
sium. According to Malavolti, not more than 600 
Sienese had fallen on the field of battle, but among 
them were many young men of the noblest families in 
the city. It is needless to re-tell in this place the 
familiar story of the triumphant entry of the Count 
Giordano with the Ghibelline exiles and his German 
mercenaries into the desolate Florence, and how that 
short-lived despotism was set up which the people 
themselves those strenuous b-irghers and artisans of 
the Florentine Guilds overthrew six years later. 
Montalcino, the original cause of the war, had sur- 
rendered to Siena a few days after the battle, and had 
been cruelly humiliated. According to the Sienese 
chroniclers, the people of Montalcino came through the 
Porta Romana in penitential robes, with halters round 
their necks, crying mtsericordia, and were forced to go 
to the field of battle to bury all the abandoned dead. 
A similar fate befell Montepulciano, which Manfred 
granted to the Commune of Siena on November 2Oth. 
In the following year Provenzano was made Podesta 
of Montepulciano, and with him went Don Ugo, the 
Camarlingo di Biccherna, to arrange for the building of 
a fortress there. 

But this epoch of Ghibelliae prepotency in Tuscany 
was brief. The victory of Charles of Anjou over Man- 
fred at Benevento, in February 1266, was followed by 
the restoration of the Guelf supremacy in Florence. 
Siena and Pisa now stood alone. 

Siena had not long remained united. There was 
still a Guelf faction within the walls, headed by the 

The Republic of Siena 

Tolomei, and the nobles were daily growing more 
estranged from the people. There was fighting in the 
Piazza Tolomei in 1265, when the people fired the 
palace; and again, in 1267, when, after the fall of 
Manfred, the Guelfs commenced to raise their heads 
anew. It was in these years that Provenzano Salvani 
became the ruling spirit of the State, and, in Dante's 
words, " in his presumption thought to bring all Siena 
into his own hands." It was mainly through his 
influence that Siena joined with Pisa in aiding Cor- 
radino, the youthful grandson of the great Frederick, 
in his designs upon Italy. Corradino came, a victim 
marked for the slaughter ; and in August 1268 he rode 
into Siena with his army, and was received with the 
utmost joy as true Caesar. It was during his stay here 
that his troops, united with the Sienese, gained a slight 
victory in the Valdarno, and the prisoners brought into 
the city seemed to the exulting Ghibellines an augury 
of the complete triumph of the imperial cause. In the 
utter overthrow of these aspirations on the disastrous 
field of Tagliacozzo, " where without arms the old 
Alardo conquered," a friend of Provenzano' s had fallen 
into the hands of the Angevin victor, who set a heavy 
ransom as the price of his life. Then was it that 
Provenzano appeared in the guise of a supplicant in the 
Campo, as Dante tells us in the Purgatorio, begging 
money of all that passed by, till the sum was made up 
"to deliver his friend from the torment that he was 
suffering in Charles' prison." 

In the very next year a more bitter fate was Proven- 
zano's own. With Florentine aid, the Guelf exiles 
were threatening the Sienese frontier, and Provenzano 
Salvani, with Count Guido Novello, led a mixed force 
of Tuscan Ghibellines and Spanish and German mer- 
cenaries to attack Colle di Val d'Elsa. Here in June 
1 269, they were surprised by a smaller force of French 


The Story of Siena 

cavalry under Guy de Montfort, " routed and rolled 
back in the bitter paces of flight," the Florentines and 
Guelf exiles, taking ample vengeance for the slaughter 
of Montaperti. More than a thousand Sienese fell. 
Provenzano himself, to whom before the battle it had 
been foretold that his head should be the highest in the 
field, was taken prisoner, and murdered in cold blood 
by Cavolino Tolomei, who rode through the host with 
his head upon the point of his lance. Among the 
Guelf exiles in Colle was a noble lady named Sapia 
the wife, it is said, of Ghinibaldo Saracini who 
waited in agonised suspense in a tower near the field, 
declaring that she would hurl herself down from the 
window if her countrymen were victorious. When she 
saw them routed, and watched the furious Guelf pur- 
suit, she broke out into the paroxysm of delight re- 
corded by Dante, " crying to God, Henceforth I fear 
thee no more." 1 

The battle of Colle di Val d'Elsa closes the period 
of Ghibelline supremacy in Siena. In the following 
year Guy de Montfort, as vicar of King Charles, forced 
the Sienese to take back their Guelf exiles, who soon 
drove out the Ghibellines. Instead of the Twenty- 
four, the chief power was now vested in a Thirty-six, 
who included both nobles and popolani. The long 
struggle with Florence was over for the present, Siena 
being forced to join her rival in the Guelf League 
under the suzerainty of the Angevin king. And as 
was inevitable when the Guelfs got the upper hand in 
an Italian state, in 1280 the nobles, or gentiluomini, were 
excluded from the Government, which was now put 
into the hands of the "Fifteen Governors and Defenders 
of the Commune and People of Siena." A daring, but 
unsuccessful attempt of the Ghibelline exiles and their 
adherents within the walls to recapture the city in 1281 

1 Purg. xiii. 115-123. 

The Republic of Siena 

only resulted in strengthening the new democratic 
government. In 1285 the Fifteen were reduced to 
Nine, the famous magistracy of the Signor't Now, " the 
Lords Nine, the Defenders of the Commune and 
People of the city and district of Siena, and of the 
jurisdiction of the same," in which no members of noble 
houses could sit (though still eligible for the other 
offices of the State, such as those of the Provveditori 
di Biccherna). Their term of office was two months, 
during which they lived at the expense of the State in 
one or other of the palaces of the city, rented for the 
purpose, until the present Palazzo Pubblico was built. 
The Nine were chosen from the popolo di mezzo, the 
rich and enlightened merchant class, that came between 
the nobles and the plebeians. Throughout the story of 
Siena we find the word Monte used to denote the 
faction or order that held sway, and this was the 
beginning of the Monte del Nove, whose adherents were 
afterwards known as the Noveschi. The order that 
had previously held the supremacy is henceforth known 
as the Monte de' Gentiluomini. 

The Siena of this epoch of Guelf predominance is 
that luxurious city of the gente vana, the " vain folk," 
that Dante knew, the city whose paths he trod in the 
early days of his exile. Senseless extravagance reigned 
side by side with hectic devotion and mystic enthusiasm. 
Typical, indeed, of this time are two figures of whom 
we read in the Dfaina Commedia ; the young nobleman, 
Lano Maconi, who, having squandered all his substance 
in riotous living, joined in the unsuccessful expedition of 
the Sienese and Florentines against Arezzo in 1288, 
and, when the Sienese fell into an ambush at the ford of 
Pieve del Toppo, instead of saving his life by flight, 
dashed into the middle of the Aretines and found the 
death he sought ; Pietro Pettignano, Franciscan tertiary 
and combseller of the Terzo di Camellia, who saved 


The Story of Siena 

the soul of Monna Sapia by his prayers, saw visions and 
wrought miracles, and after a life of humility and 
righteousness died in 1289, and was venerated as a 
saint. 1 Magnificent processions, gorgeous ceremonies 
of church and state, sumptuous balls and banquets, 
celebrated the bestowing of the order of knighthood 
upon the nobles of city and contado each aristocratic 
house striving to eclipse the other in lavish hospitality 
and brilliant display. Amidst it all we hear the voice 
of that realist of the Trecento Cecco degli Angiolieri, 
who " anticipates Villon from afar " 2 singing of the 
three things for which he cares, la donna, la taverna, el 
dado, celebrating his sordid passion for Becchina, the 
shoemaker's daughter, pouring venomous abuse upon his 
own father, who persisted in living on and thus keeping 
him out of his heritage, railing against all mankind in 
half furious, half humorous style, daring to break a 
lyric lance even with the divine Florentine, Dante 
Alighieri himself. More characteristic of Siena is 
Cecco's contemporary; Folgore da San Gimignano, 
in his corona of fourteen sonnets addressed to the 
brigata nobile e cortese, a club of twelve extravagant 
young Sienese nobles. Month by month through the 
year he sets forth a round of pleasures of every kind, 
feasting and hunting, music and jousting (the latter, 
in spite of a reference to Camelot, of a very harm- 
less, carpet-knight description), dallying in pleasant 
places with lovely women. Nowhere else shall you 
find so perfect a picture of the splendid life and 
delicate living of courtly circles in "soft Siena" 
Siena I'amorosa madre di dolcez,za 9 as another poet called 
her with her gay young gallants 

" Who as King Priam's sons might surely stand, 
Valiant and courteous more than Lancelot, 

Inf. xiii. no; Purg. xiii. 128. a J. A Symonds. 

The Republic of Siena 

Each one, if need should be, with lance in hand, 
Would fight in tournament at Camelot." 

It was from these glittering, luxurious scenes that 
one of Siena's proudest nobles, Bernardo Tolomei, fled 
to the desert, in 1313, to found the great convent of 
Monte Oliveto Maggiore, and to return to the city in 
1348 with his white-robed companions, to lay down 
his life for his fellow-countrymen during the pestilence. 

Until the advent of that terrible pestilence of 1348, 
the epoch of the supremacy of the Nine is the brightest 
in the history of Siena. " In that time," wrote Fra 
Filippo Agazzari, a few years later, " the city of Siena 
was in such great peace, and in such great abundance of 
every earthly good, that almost every feast day innumer- 
able weddings of young women were celebrated in the 
city." J It is the epoch in which most of Siena's 
noblest buildings were reared, the epoch in which its 
three supreme painters Duccio di Buoninsegna, Simone 
Martini, Ambrogio Lorenzetti for a brief while raised 
the school of their native city to an equality with that 
of Florence. Trade flourished, the university prospered; 
the Republic remained Guelf, though it retained a certain 
Ghibelline element within its core that kept it from 
an aggressive policy, and led the more strenuous 
Florentines to a proverb touching their neighbour : La 
lupa puttaneggia, " the she-wolf plays the harlot." In 
1303 the Sienese purchased Talamone which they 
fondly hoped to make into a valuable sea-port whereby 
they might become a great maritime power to rival 
Genoa or even Venice from the Abbot of San 
Salvadore. Henceforth, to their mocking neighbours, 
they became the "vain folk that hopes in Talamone," 
upon which they spent enormous sums of money with 
no result, owing to the unhealthiness of the situation and 
the impossibility of keeping the harbour clear. They 

* Asfcmpro II. 

The Story of Siena 

joined the Italian league against Henry of Luxemburg, 
sent men and money to the defence of Brescia, and, by 
their prompt assistance to the Florentines, helped in 
forcing the Emperor to raise the siege of Florence in 
1312, when his army wasted their contado. A little 
later, when Uguccione della Faggiuola was upholding 
the imperial cause, 400 Sienese cavalry and 3000 

infantry were in the Guelf 
army that was annihilated 
at Montecatini in 1315. 
But in 1326, when Duke 
Charles of Calabria came 
to Siena on his way to 
Florence, and demanded 
the lordship of the former 
city as well, they rose in 
arms against him, barricaded 
the streets with chains, and 
forced the proud G-uelf 
prince to accept their terms. 
The Duke of Athens, in 
1343, having made him- 
self tyrant of Florence, 
attempted to get Siena into 
his hands, by stirring up 
the nobles against the Nine ; the Nine retaliated by 
arranging the conspiracy that caused his overthrow and 
his expulsion from Florence. " For three days," writes 
Bindino da Travale, "the balzana floated over the 
Tower of the Commune of Florence, alone, without 
any other banner." 

The external wars of this epoch, mainly against Pisa, 
were unimportant. Within Siena itself the harmony 
was by no means unintermittent. A passage that we 
read in the Cromca Senese under the year 1314 is only 
too typical : " On the sixteenth day of April there was 

A Street in Siena 

The Republic of Siena 

great tumult and battle in Siena, between the Tolomei 
and the Salimbeni, and all the city was up in arms." 
And, in addition to the never ending feud between these 
two great houses, there were political interests at stake. 
The Tolomei, with whom were other houses of the 
magnates, were opposed to the Nine, and adopted the 
cause of the lower classes of the people, the popolo minuto, 
who were excluded from the Government by the burgher 
oligarchy. In 1318 the Tolomei, with certain of the 
Forteguerri and other nobles, plotted with the notaries 
?nd butchers and a number of artisans, to overthrow the 
Nine ; but the attempt was easily repressed. A pro- 
longed vendetta between Salimbeni and Tolomei kept 
the whole city disturbed between 1320 and 1326, while 
similar feuds, accompanied by ferocious murders and 
sanguinary riots, between the Malavolti and Piccolomini, 
Saracini and Scotti, enlivened the two following decades 
of the century. In 1346, a section of the Tolomei, 
allied with the popolo minuto, attempted a rising in the 
contrada of the Porta Ovile ; several of their plebeian 
adherents were hanged, but the Captain of War was afraid 
to lay hands upon the nobles. In 1347, the Pope's 
legate and the Nine succeeded in reconciling the Piccolo- 
mini and the Malavolti. 

The terrible pestilence, known as the Black Death, 
that swept over Europe in 1348, devastated Siena for 
nearly six months. Even when we remember Boccaccio's 
pages, we still read the account in the Cronica Scnese 
with a fresh thrill of horror. 1 It raged from May to 
October. Men and women felt the fatal swelling, " and 
suddenly, crying out, they died. The father hardly 
stayed to see his son ; one brother fled the other ; the 
wife abandoned her husband ; for it was said that this 
disease was caught by looking, and in the breath." So 
great was the mortality that none could be hired to bury 

1 Agnolo di Tura, Cronica Sentst, 122-124. 

The Story of Siena 

the dead. No sooner was a man's breath out of his 
body, than his friends took him to the church and buried 
him, without any funeral service, as best they could. 
Huge trenches were dug in different parts of the city, 
and the dead thrown in, indiscriminately, in great heaps. 
" And I, Agnolo di Tura called Grasso, buried five of 
my sons in one trench with my own hands ; and many 
others did the like. And also there were some that 
were so badly covered up that the dogs dragged them 
out, and ate many bodies in the city. No bells tolled, 
and no one wept at any misfortune that befel, for almost 
every person expected death ; and the thing went in 
such wise that folk thought that no one would remain on 
live, and many men believed and said : This is the end 
of the world. Here no physician availed, nor medicine, 
nor any defence ; rather it seemed that the more pre- 
caution a man took, the sooner he died." About three 
quarters of the inhabitants of city and contado perished, 
though the " more than 80,000 persons " of Agnolo di 
Tura must be an exaggeration. While the pestilence 
raged most fiercely, Bernardo Tolomei and his white 
robed Olivetani came down from their cloistered retreat 
to tend the stricken people of their native city, and almost 
all, including Bernardo, died with them. In the following 
year the Sienese who survived gave themselves up to 
ifeasting and riotous living. They all behaved for a 
while like brothers and relations, says the chronicler ; 
each one felt as though he had won back the world, and 
no one could settle down to doing anything. And for 
a long while Siena seemed uninhabited, per Siena non 
pareva che fusse persona. 

The order of the Nine fell in 1355, anc * tr >i rteen years 
of tumultuous, perpetual change followed. The Emperor 
elect, Charles IV. "di Lusimburgo ignominioso Carlo," 
as Fazio degli Uberti calls him was on his way from 
Pisa to be crowned at Rome ; the Sienese ambassadors, 

7 be Republic of Siena 

headed by Guccio Tolomei and Giovanni di Agnolino 
Salimbeni, had sworn fidelity to him at Pisa on behalf of 
the Nine, and he had sworn in return to preserve the 
liberties of Siena, and to make the Nine his vicars. 
With a thousand knights and barons, the Emperor and 
Empress entered Siena on March 25th, each under a 
baldacchino gorgeous with gold, with music playing and 
banners flying, and were greeted with enthusiasm. No 
sooner had the Caesar dismounted at the palace of the 
Salimbeni, than a cry arose throughout the city : " Long 
live the Emperor and death to the Nine ! " The Pic- 
colomini with the consent of the other magnates (ex- 
cepting only Giovanni di Agnolino Salimbeni) began the 
rising, and the popolo mlnuto on the following day rose 
in arms at their call. When night fell, on the 26th, the 
chains of the city were cut, and the keys brought to the 
Emperor ; the Nine, helpless and terrified, lurked in the 
Palace of the Commune, while the people sacked and 
burned their houses. The next day all Siena was in 
arms. The Emperor rode through vast acclaiming 
throngs in the Campo to confer with the Nine in the 
Palace, while louder and louder rose the deafening roar, 
" Long live the Emperor and death to the Nine ! " 
the nobles instigating the populace to further efforts. In 
the Palace the Caesar received the abdication of the Nine, 
forced them to renounce all the privileges he had granted 
them, to annul the oath he had sworn to their ambas- 
sadors while the younger nobles, shouting and cheering, 
led the populace to sack the palaces of the Provveditori di 
Biccherna and Consoli di Mercanzia, and the houses of the 
v/ool merchants, to release the prisoners, to hunt out the 
luckless Podesta and War-Captain. The books of con- 
demnation, the papers of the Nine, were burnt before the 
Emperor's eyes in the piazza, and their official chest 
was dragged through the city at the tail of an ass. 
Though Charles had sufficient decency to refuse to sur- 


The Story of Siena 

render the persons of the Nine to the fury of the mob 
outside, he let the nobles and populace avenge themselves 
on their houses and property, and it was not until the 
evening had come that he sent his soldiers to guard the 
Dogana del Sale, and to order every one to lay down 
their arms. But such was the general alarm that no one 
would receive any of the adherents of the luckless Nine ; 
their servants deserted them, the very priests and religious 
shrank from them as though they had the plague. The 
Emperor caused a certain number of citizens to be 
elected twelve nobles and eighteen of the popolo minuto 
to " reform the government," and went on his way 
leaving his vicar, the Patriarch of Aquileia, in charge. 
A supreme magistracy of twelve popolam was elected, 
henceforth known as the Signori Dodici, four from each 
terzo of the city, holding office for two months, one of 
them to serve as Captain of the People ; there was further 
to be a kind of subsidiary council of six gentiluominly who 
were not to reside with the Signoria in the Palazzo, but 
without whom the Twelve could undertake nothing of 
importance nor open letters that concerned the state. 
When the Emperor returned from Rome at the beginning 
of May and passed through Siena again, he was received 
with great honours and renewed acclamations, as the 
Deliverer of the People, and made about sixty knights, 
nobles of Siena and plebeians alike many of the latter 
carried bodily to him on the shoulders of the populace 
and knighted, amidst the wildest clamour and confusion, 
against their own will and to the great disgust of the 
imperial barons. 

Hardly had the Emperor left the city than the six nobles 
with the consent of their leader, Giovanni di Agnolino 
Salimbeni, who appears prominently during these years 
as a powerful influence in the Republic on the side of 
peace and moderation were forced to lay down their 
office. The whole government now remained in the 

TJbe Republic of Siena 

hands of the Twelve, who were mostly petty tradesmen 
and notaries, and whose rule was corrupt and incapable. 
A number of the subject towns refused to acknowledge 
them ; Montepulciano gave itself to Perugia, and the 
Sienese, in revenge, persuaded the governor of Cortona 
to revolt against the Perugians. A fierce war between 
Siena and Perugia followed. The Sienese gained a 
creditable victory outside the walls of Cortona. The 
light armed cavalry of Perugia harried the Sienese con- 
tado, and even approached the gates of the city itself, 
and the Sienese retaliated by taking the mercenaries of 
Conrad of Landau into their pay who were, however, 
intercepted and severely cut up by the Florentine 
mountaineers of the Val di Lamone and ravaged the 
Perugian territories up to the walls of Perugia. Peace 
was made at the end of 1358, much to the advantage of 
Siena, who kept Cortona, v/hile the Perugians had to set 
Montepulciano free at the end of five years. At the 
beginning of 1365 the latter town made Messer Giovanni 
di Agnolino their Podesta, and returned to the obedience 
of Siena. 

During these years of the rule of the Twelve, the 
contado was perpetually threatened by wandering bands 
of mercenaries the Compagnia Bianca, mainly English- 
men, but led by German captains ; the Compagnia della 
Stella ; the Compagnia del Cappello of Italians, under 
Niccolo da Montefeltro ; the Compagnia di San Giorgio, 
which is associated with the great name of John 
Hawkwood. These had to be compounded with, to 
be guarded against by enrolling other mercenaries, to be 
played off against each other. In October 1363, the 
Sienese, led by their Conservatore or War-Captain, 
Ceccolo di Giordano Orsini, and stiffened by a strong 
force of Germans and Hungarians, overtook the Com- 
pagnia del Cappello, which was devastating the contado, in 
the Valdichiana, and gained a complete victory, taking its 


The Story of Siena 

captain and other leaders prisoners. But when, in 
March 1367, they tried to play the same game with 
John Hawkwood and his company of Englishmen, near 
Montalcinello, there was a very different tale to tell ; 
the Sienese were driven back to Siena in headlong rout, 
their Conservatore was taken prisoner, and peace had to 
be purchased at a goodly rate of golden florins. Within 
the city there was restless plotting against the Twelve, 
followed by banishments and executions for this govern- 
ment was by no means so reluctant to lay hands upon 
the nobles as the Nine had been. Realising that the 
feeling of the city was turning against them, the Twelve 
sent a splendid embassy to receive Pope Urban V. 
when he landed at the Port of Talamone (on his way to 
Rome in that ineffectual, because premature attempt to 
heal the leprosy of Avignon) , entered into league with 
him, sent horsemen under Sozzo Bandinelli and Piero 
Piccolomini to support the cause of the Church at 
Viterbo and Bologna. This was good so far as it went, 
but it did not avert the storm that burst upon Siena in 

The Twelve had split into two factions the 
"Canischi" and the Grasselli." The Canischi 
sided with the Tolomei, with whom were Piccolomini, 
Saracini, and Cerretani ; the Grasselli were allied with 
the Salimbeni. The Emperor was expected in Tuscany, 
and the most honoured citizen of Siena, Giovanni 
di Agnolino Salimbeni, had come from Montepulciano 
to head the embassy that went from Siena to greet 
Caesar in Lombardy. Although even the magistrates in 
the Signoria were at daggers drawn, Giovanni's in- 
fluence had delayed the catastrophe ; but, on his return 
from the Emperor, he was killed by a fall from his horse 
on the way from Siena to Rocca d'Orcia. The nobles 
rose in mass, united with the adherents of the Nine, and 
tenza colpo di spada, at the beginning of September, forced 

The Republic of Siena 

the Twelve to surrender the Palace and the entire contro- 
of the State. A new magistracy of thirteen consuls was 
established ; one from each of the five Greater Families, 
five representatives of the lesser nobles, three to repre- 
sent the Nine. An embassy was dispatched by this new 
government to the Emperor ; but, in the meanwhile, the 
Salimbeni had made common cause with the adherents 
of the Twelve, and sent ambassadors on their own 
account. On September 24th the Salimbeni, shouting 
for the People and the Emperor, rushed out of their 
palace and gardens in arms, joined forces with the 
Twelve, broke open the Porta di San Prospero, and 
admitted Malatesta de' Malatesta, the imperial vicar, 
who with 800 horse had been lying in wait. From 
street to street the people and nobles struggled desper- 
ately with each other ; during the three weeks of 
their rule, the latter had fortified their houses and 
enrolled soldiers for this emergency, which enabled 
them to hold their own at first even against the trained 
cavalry of the imperial vicar, while their overbearing and 
tyrannous conduct had exasperated the people to mad- 
ness. A last stand was made in the Campo round the 
Palazzo, where there was a grim struggle, grande e aspra 
battagKdy until Malatesta carried the place by storm, and 
the populace, rushing in after the imperial soldiery, 
sacked it. The nobles fled from the city with their 
families, carrying with them all the goods that they 
could save from the wreck. Malatesta fortified himself 
in the Poggio Malavolti, from which, until the following 
January, he practically ruled the city as imperial vicar ; 
while in the Palazzo a popular council of 124 plebeians 
met, which was called the Consiglio di Riformatori, and 
created a new supreme magistracy of twelve, composed 
of five of \.\\epopolo minuto, four of the Twelve, three of 
the order of the Nine ; the Signori Dodici Difensori del 
Poyolo Senese. The same proportion of the three 


The Story of Siena 

ordtnt or Monti was to hold in the general council of 
650 popolani. To reward the Salimbeni for their 
services to the People, or, as Malavolti, the aristocratic 
historian of Siena, puts it, " for the perfidy they had 
used against the other nobles," they were given five 
castles in the Sienese contado and declared popolani, so 
as to be eligible for the chief magistracy. 

The Emperor came back to Siena on October I2th, 
with the Empress. He entered at the Porta Tufi, where 
the Twelve and the Salimbeni met him, all crowned with 
ilowers and bearing olive branches. He alighted at the 
Salimbeni palace, while his followers were quartered in 
the deserted houses of the exiled nobles. The next day, 
after Mass in the Duomo, he knighted Reame and 
Niccolo Salimbeni "and very little pleasure did any 
one take in that," says the Sienese Chronicle grimly. 
An enormous present of money was made to him and the 
Empress, as also to Malatesta, and when the Emperor 
left on the I4th, the Empress remained behind for some 
days to induce Siena to redeem the imperial crown 
which had been pawned in Florence. In the meanwhile 
the nobles were making alarms and excursions in the 
contado, almost up to the gates of the city. There was 
another revolution in December. The lowest portion of 
the populace, or at least lower than those hitherto repre- 
sented in the administration " verily plebeians and 
entirely new men," as Malavolti has it assailed the 
Palazzo, forced their way in, hunted out the representa- 
tives of the Twelve and Nine alike. Finally by a sort 
of general compromise a council of 1 50 riformaton was 
appointed, who reformed the State by the creation of a 
supreme magistracy of Fifteen Defenders, composed of 
eight of the popolo minuto, four of the Twelve, three of 
the Nine. This was the origin of the Monte dei Rifor- 
matori, because the name was retained in the families of 
those popolani who took a part in this regime, the names 

The Republic of Siena 

of Nine and Twelve (Now and Dodici) being retained in 
those families who belonged to these two orders and shared 
their fortunes. The Monti of Riformatori, Dodicini, 
and Noveschi were likewise known as the People of the 
Greater Number, the People of the Middle Number, and 
the People of the Lesser Number respectively. 1 

The Emperor rode again into Siena, with the Empress 
and a long train of knights and nobles, on December 
22nd. He dismounted as before at the Palace of the 
Salimbeni. The nobles were still ravaging the contado 
and, by means of the Marquis of Montferrat, Charles 
made some sort of attempt to effect a reconciliation 
between them and the people, which was cut short by 
the intrigues of the Salimbeni and Dodicini, who had 
gained the shallow Caesar's ear. The arrival of a papal 
legate, the Cardinal of Bologna, with armed men at the 
end of the month increased the general alarm : it was 
rumoured that Charles intended to sell Siena to the Pope. 
The Emperor demanded the surrender of the fortresses 
of Massa, Montalcino, Grosseto, Talamone and Casole, 
and implied that he meant to reform the State; the 
Fifteen summoned a general council of more than 800 
citizens, and returned an absolute refusal. Then the 
Salimbeni thought that the time had come to strike. 
On January i8th, Niccolo Salimbeni rode furiously 
through the street with armed followers, shouting " Long 
live the People ! Down with the traitors who want the 
nobles back ! " Malatesta with his cavalry entered the 
Campo, drew up in front of the Palace, calling upon the 
Signoria in the name of Caesar to surrender, and to expel 
the three representatives of the Nine. Instantly the 
alarm was sounded from the Mangia Tower. The armed 
forces of the people poured into the Campo, and their 
captain, Matteino di Ventura Menzani, with the gonfalone 
in his hand, led them against the foreign cavalry. The 
1 Malavolti, ii. 7. p. 132. 

c * 

The Story of Siena 

bells were ringing a stormo from churches and palaces, 
clashing and clanging over the heads of republicans and 
imperialists, when Caesar himself, his royal helmet crowned 
with a garland, appeared upon the scenes. With tlie 
Salimbeni and a long train of horsemen he was making 
his way to the Palazzo, when the victorious people, 
having routed Malatesta, burst upon him at ihe Croce del 
Travaglio. The imperial banner was struck down and 
the imperial forces broken. At the Palazzo Tolomei 
"there was an incredible battle," the imperial escort 
fighting desperately to cover the Caesar's retreat. One 
of the Salimbeni, with an olive branch in his hand, came 
into the Campo in the name of Caesar to implore the 
Captain to grant a cessation of hostilities, but was promptly 
sent about his business. By the time that the unfortunate 
Emperor got back to the Salimbeni Palace, he had lost 
more than 400 killed including two of his nephews 
and all the hospitals were full of his wounded. 

Before the fight had ended the Defenders sent a solemn 
procession to bring back the three of the Nine who had 
left the Palace ; " with a goodly company, preceded by 
the trumpets, with garlands on their heads and with olive 
branches in their hands ; they put them back in the Palace 
in their place, embracing them and kissing them with the 
greatest tenderness and craving pardon." The Captain 
of the People issued a proclamation that no one should 
sell nor give any food to the Emperor and his folk. " The 
Emperor remained alone with the greatest fear that any 
rascal ever had. The people stared at him ; he wept and 
made excuses, embraced and kissed every person that 
went to him, and said : * I have been betrayed by 
Messer Malatesta and by Messer Giovanni and by the 
Salimbeni and by the Twelve.' " J Half starved and 
altogether terrified, the unfortunate man promised any- 
thing the Sienese wanted, in order to get away from the 

1 Neri di Donate, Cronica Scnese, 202-206. 





The Republic of Siena 

dreadful city. He made the Defenders his vicars in 
perpetuity, granted the Sienese all conceivable privileges, 
pardoned everybody everything, accepted a handsome 
sum of money, and went. Many of the Salimbeni and 
others tried to escape disguised among the knights of his 
train, but several were detected and handed over to the 
Captain of the People. It was said that there had been a 
conspiracy to make over the lordship of Siena to Mala- 
testa with an annual tribute to the Emperor, to give the 
Salimbeni and the Dodicini two days of complete venge- 
ance over their foes, to allow the soldiers three days' sack 
of the city. But the matter was hushed up and the 
prisoners released, to the indignation of the populace. 

A few months of anarchy followed. The Salimbeni 
and the Dodicini were at the throats of the Noveschi 
in the city, while the banished nobles maintained a 
state of war in the contado. The Defenders and the 
Council of the Riformatori appointed an esecutore to 
maintain order and execute justice, and formed a new 
association known as the Casata Grande del Popolo, with 
the white lion for arms, to preserve the popular constitution 
of the State. In July, 1369, by arbitration of the 
Florentine Republic, peace was at last made, and the 
six exiled families Piccolomini, Malavolti, Saracini, 
Tolomei, Forteguerri, Cerretani were reconciled with 
the Republic and restored to their country, with the right 
of sitting in all the magistracies of the State, saving only 
those of the fifteen Defenders, the three Gonfalonieri, 
and the Councils of the Riformatori. The treaty was 
received with universal satisfaction but the peace was of 
brief duration. Although the Salimbeni had previously 
made terms with the other nobles, they continued to hang 
the banner of the People out of their windows " come 
consorti del Popolo." 

Among the lowest degrees of the popolo minuto 
men of the infima plebe, workers and carders of the Art 


The Story of Siena 

of Wool, who lived in the narrow lanes up and down the 
Costa di Porta Ovile an association had been formed 
which afterwards came to be known as the Compagnia 
del Bruco, from the badge of the contrada. In July 
1371, induced partly by hunger, partly by the oppression 
of the Masters of the Arte della Lana, a number of them 
rose, took grain by force from the houses where it was 
stored, and made a disturbance in the Campo. The 
Senator (as the Conservatore and Capitano di Guerra 
was now called) arrested three of their ringleaders, put 
them to the torture and sentenced them to death. They 
were wool-combers of the Art, all belonging to the asso- 
ciation. At once the whole Compagnia rose in arms, 
and with tremendous uproar, on July i4th, assailed the 
Palace of the Senator, demanding that the three should 
be released or else they would burn the place down. 
Hearing this, the Captain of the People, Francesco di 
Naddo, left the Palazzo del Commune with the gon- 
falone and the trumpets before him, and forced his way 
up to the Senator's Palace. He induced the Senator 
to surrender the three prisoners with the sole result 
that the whole Compagnia, roaring " Out with the Nine 
and the Twelve," " Long life to the People," led by a 
certain Ferraccio swept through the streets, tore down 
the banner of the People from the Salimbeni palace, 
seized the gonfaloni of the terzi, drove headlong before 
them a band of nobles who had tried to stay their march, 
and finally with the aid of the greater part of the popu- 
lace captured the Palazzo and expelled the four of the 
Twelve and the three of the Nine from the Signoria, 
substituting seven of the " Popolo del Maggior Numero." 
There was a short breathing space in which the Council 
of the Riformatori attempted a sort of compromise. But 
in the meanwhile the leaders of the Dodicini, with 
some of the Salimbeni and others of the people who 
misliked what had happened, gained over the Captain 


The Republic of Siena 

and the three Gonfalonieri to their side. It was arranged 
that the Captain should secretly introduce armed men 
into the Palazzo, that each Gonfaloniere should secure 
his own terzo, and that the Salimbeni should march in 
from the contado with all their forces and seize the city 
gates, after which there should be a general massacre of 
all their opponents and the whole State should be re- 
formed. The plot was to take effect on August ist ; but 
some inkling of what was intended reached the Signoria. 
Many arrests were made, and the conspirators resolved 
to precipitate matters. But on the night of the 2Qth, 
hearing the clash of arms in the Captain's apartments, the 
Defenders were put upon the alert, and succeeded in 
taking the Captain red-handed in the act of opening the 
gate. When day broke, the whole city was in an uproar. 
The three Gonfalonieri and the Dodicini had armed their 
adherents to the number of nearly two thousand men ; they 
had occupied the mouths of the Campo and the Croce 
del Travaglio. A horrible massacre commenced in the 
quarters of the carders' association. The conspirators, 
armed with crossbows, lances and swords fell upon the 
unarmed populace, hunting them up and down the narrow 
lanes along the Costa d'Ovile,. breaking into the houses, 
murdering men, women and children alike. Then they 
turned to assail the Palace. But the shrieks and the 
cries for aid of the fugitives had roused the nobles and 
certain of the Noveschi, who armed themselves and 
moved to the support of the Signoria. There was fierce 
fighting in the Campo and at the foot of the Palace, and 
in each terzo ; but at last the victory was complete on 
the side of the government, and the soldiery of the 
Salimbeni only moved up from the contado to find that 
all was over. There was a large number of executions. 
On the ist of August, the day on which the conspiracy 
was to have taken effect, the Captain of the People him- 
self, dressed in scarlet, was led out into the Campo and 


The Story of Siena 

solemnly beheaded upon a scaffold covered with scarlet 
cloth. The Gonfaloniere of the Terzo di Citta was 
taken in hiding near San Domenico, and executed at 
the Porta Salaia ; his two colleagues, who had escaped, 
were declared rebels, with many others. In the new 
reformation of the State, the popolani of the Middle 
Number (Dodicint) were excluded, the Fifteen being 
composed of twelve popolani of the Greater Number 
(Riformatori) and three of the Minor Number (JV0t)/i&), 
while almost all the artisans, mlnori artifici^ were added 
to the number of the Riformatori. 

The government of the Riformatori lasted till 1385. 
It was practically a government of artisans ; though 
patriotic and energetic, their rule was extremely oppres- 
sive, and burghers and nobles alike murmured. There 
were continual plots, followed by banishments, torturings, 
executions. The Salimbeni were expelled in 1374, 
their houses and possessions wasted ; but they gathered 
together in the contado, captured many castles, and 
carried on a formidable war against the State. In the 
stormy years that followed the return of the Popes from 
Avignon and the consequent schism in the Church, Siena 
suffered greatly from the bands of mercenaries who 
appeared at intervals in the territory of the Republic, 
ravaging the country with great damage. In June 1384 
the army of the Sienese, engaged in a war in the Papal 
States against the Prefetto di Vico and Hawkwood, was 
completely defeated, and the Riformatori compelled to 
purchase an ignominious peace. This shook their power. 
Shortly afterwards a futile attempt to get possession of 
Arezzo by purchase from Enguerrand de Courcy, who 
had occupied it for Louis of Anjou in which they were 
forestalled by the diplomatic skill of the Florentines 
brought things to a climax. The Malavolti with the 
Piccolomini, Cerretani, and other nobles joined the 
Salimbeni in arms, and made war upon the Republic, 

7 be Republic of Siena 

cruel reprisals being committed on eithei ^ ner 

tempers embittered; the Riformatori, in despa. * ne 
ready to admit the Dodicini and Noveschi and a 
people into their order. The Florentines secretly fai. 
the flames. By the beginning of March the Riformatoii 
no longer dared to leave the city, while the nobles 
threatened the gates of Siena itself. "Although I am 
not one of the Riformatori/' says the chronicler, 1 " yet 
do I say that the Riformatori were more thoroughly 
artisan than any other government ever was, and also the 
most loyal men towards their Commune ; and they were 
more courageous against their neighbours than any other 
government." According to him they were undone by 
Florentine intrigue, and by the fault of a few bad men 
among them. On March 23rd, 1385, certain of the 
Dodicini forced the Bargello to release a prisoner whom 
he had arrested near the Porta Salaia. This was the 
occasion of the rising. The Riformatori called their 
partisans to arms, while the Dodicini and Noveschi, led 
by the Saracini and Scotti, assailed them furiously in the 
Campo. For the greater part of the day the struggle 
raged through Siena. The masses of the people were 
desperately excited, but divided and disposed to support 
the Riformatori. Then said a Jew to one of the 
Saracini : " Do you wish to conquer ? Now cry, Vtva 
la Pace! And at that word all the people will hold 
with you." The rabble, tutta la genie minuta, at once 
turned upon the Riformatori, and the rout was com- 
plete; and on the following day the nobles and their 
allies entered Siena in triumph. "Thus," writes our 
chronicler, 2 " the city was despoiled of all the Arts, and 
the Kingdom benefited thereby and all the Marches and 
the Patrimony, and Pisa grew populous with them. 

1 In the continuation (wrongly ascribed to Agnolo di Tura 
of the Cronica Senese* 
a Op. cit. 294. 


The Story of Siena 

8 ? 1 T nIy T, ehflter who am not one of the 

c ...nit" it was ill done ; for the city of Siena was 
e " and wasted, seeing that successively more than 
s thousand good artisans, citizens of the city, were 
JifTven out, of whom not the sixth part ever returned." 



Saint Catherine of Siena 

'"THE closing years of this great republican epoch are 
lit up by the genius and the inspiration of one of the 
most wonderful women in the history of Italy: Caterina 
Benincasa, now more generally known as St Catherine of 
Siena. She was born on March 25th, 1347, the youngest of 
a large family of sons and daughters that Monna Lapa bore 
to her husband, Giacomo Benincasa, a dyer of the con- 
trada of Fontebranda. The family of the Benincasa 
belonged to the Monte de' Dodici. Until the death 
of Giacomo in 1368, his children all lived together with 
him in the house still shown one of the most revered 
sanctuaries of Siena in the valley below San Domenico. 
In her childhood Catherine began to see visions, to 
practise almost incredible austerities. Her talk already 
seemed full of a wisdom and a prudence not her own. 
" It would have been enough," writes one of the friars of 
San Domenico, who frequented Giacomo's house, "for 
any of the wisest servants of God." For a long while 
her family opposed her abnormal mode of life ; but 
they were at last overcome by her sweetness and per- 
severance. Her father especially, who had seen a white 
dove hovering over her head while she knelt at 
prayer, was convinced that she was acting in 
accordance with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and 
bade the others leave her in perfect liberty to live as 
she chose. At the age of sixteen or seventeen she took 
the habit of the Dominican Sisters of Penance the 


The Story of Siena 

soleny ro be of purity and the black mantle of humility 
clo^yhich we still see her clad on the walls of so many 
of Siena's churches and palaces. She still remained 
in her father's house, though for the next three years 
she lived apart from her family and utterly severed 
from the outer world : " Within her own house she 
found the desert, and a solitude in the midst of people." 
She never left the house save to go into San Domenico 
especially that chapel known as the Cappella delle 
Volte, so full still of the aroma of her sweet spirit. 
Wondrous revelations came to her of the Divine 
Beauty ; she smelt the fragrance of unearthly lilies, 
and heard the celestial music of Paradise, led by Mary 
Magdalene, singing con voce a/fa e con grazia di singolar 
dolcezza. In her visions Christ stood continually by 
her side ; with Him she walked familiarly ; with Him 
she talked as friend to friend, or recited the psalms in 
her little room, as one religious is wont to do with 
another. At last the divine voice spoke in her heart : 
" I will espouse thee to Myself in perfect faith." On 
the last day of the carnival, while all Siena was riot- 
ously feasting and making merry, Christ appeared to 
her as she knelt in prayer in her cell, and the voice in 
her heart spoke again : " Now will I wed thy soul, 
which shall ever be conjoined and united to Me with 
most sincere faith, as I promised thee before." Then 
seemed it to her that the Blessed Virgin came, gloriously 
attended, to give her in mystical marriage to her Divine 
Son, who, "gladly accepting, espoused her on the finger 
with a most noble ring, which had a right wondrous 
diamond set in the midst of four goodly pearls." 
" When this most certain vision passed away, the virgin 
saw continually this ring when she looked at her finger, 
albeit to us it was invisible." J 

After this vision, Catherine, being now about twenty 

1 Leggenda minors, i. \1 


Saint Catherine of Siena 

years old, joined once more in the family life of her 
home, and began to mix with men and women of the 
outer world. She chose for herself all the menial 
offices of the house, was assiduous in the service of the 
poor and in tending the sick. She became, to adopt her 
own phrase, serva e schiava de servi di Gesit Cristo. 
" Catherine," writes the best of her modern biographers, 
"possessed of that magnificent gift, the perfection of 
faith, beheld in each poor sufferer to whom she mini- 
stered nothing less than the person of her Lord. She 
sought Him then in the streets and broadways of her 
native city, and she found Him in the hospitals of the 
lepers, and wherever sickness had assumed its most 
terrible and repulsive forms." 1 Her ecstatic trances 
grew more prolonged, her wondrous visions more con- 
tinuous; she suffered intolerable pains in all her frame, 
and appears gradually to have come to live without 
nourishment of ordinary food and drink. All that 
approached her were struck by her mirthfulness and 
never-failing bright spirits ; " ella sempre lieta e 
ridente," wrote one that saw her. The Benincasa 
were prosperous then, and her father allowed Catherine 
to dispense to the poor, at her own discretion, all that 
was in his house. But Giacomo died in 1368, and 
in the revolution of the following year his family 
suffered heavily. The three sons only saved their 
lives by the intervention of their sister, who led them 
in safety, through an armed mob of their enemies, to 
take refuge in the Spedale on the opposite hill. Shortly 
after, the three left Siena for Florence, where they 
became Florentine citizens. 

1 Augusta Drane, vol. i. p. 83. I think that this author 
unquestionably deserves to be called the best of Catherine's 
modern biographers ; but the reader must be warned against 
her historical inaccuracies and her treatment of some of the 
Saint's political letters. 


The Story of Siena 

The same year that her brothers left Siena, 1370, 
marks an epoch in Catherine's life. " Do you not see, 
father," she said to Frate Tommaso delh Fonte, " that I 
am no longer she who I was, but that I am changed 
into another ? " Praying as usual in the Cappella delle 
Volte in San Domenico, her Divine Spouse had appeared 
to her in vision, and drawn forth her heart from her 
side, placing His own, uno cuore rubicundo e luc'id'issimo^ 
therein instead. Meditating upon the Passion, she began 
to endure in her body and in her soul what Christ had 
endured for man. A little later she seemed to be 
dying, or actually dead. In this suspension of her life 
or mystical death call it what you will she beheld the 
spiritual lives of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, and 
was bidden to return to the world, to convince it of sin 
and error, to warn it of impending peril. " The salva- 
tion of many souls demands thy return," said the voice 
of the Divine Spouse in her heart, " nor shalt thou any 
longer keep that way of life that up to now thou hast 
kept. No longer shalt thou have thy cell for dwelling- 
place ; nay, thou shalt go forth from thy own city for 
the utility of souls. I shall be ever with thee : I shall 
guide thee, and lead thee. Thou shalt bear the honour 
of My name, and shalt give spiritual teaching to small 
and great, to the laity no less than to clerics and re- 
ligious ; for I shall give thee such speech and wisdom 
that no one shall be able to resist. I shall bring thee 
even before Pontiffs and before the rulers of the Church 
and of the Christian people, to the end that, as is my 
wont, I may by means of the weak confound the pride 
of the strong." * 

Henceforth her work was done in the light of the 
world. Incorrigible sinners, like that singolare nbaldo 
Andrea di Naddino Bellanti, were moved to repentance 
by her prayers ; felons, dying in torments under the red- 

1 Raimondo da Capua, Leggenda, p. 226. 

Lombardi) Siena. 


Saint Catherine of Siena 

hot pincers of the executioners (attanagliati in the horrible 
phrase of the epoch), turned their despairing blasphemies 
to words of joy and comfort ; fierce faction leaders, like 
Giacomo Tolomei, laid aside their fury and went humbly 
to confession. When the pestilence raged in Siena in 
1374 and many fled the city, Catherine was foremost in 
tending the stricken, in encouraging the dying, preparing 
them for death, even burying them with her own hands. 
" Never," writes one of her friends, " did she appear 
more admirable than at this time." 

Gradually a little band of followers and disciples, of 
both sexes, gathered round her. At first these were 
mainly Dominican friars, headed by Frate Tommaso 
della Fonte, her confessor and a friend of her father's 
family, and Frate Tommaso Nacci CafFarini, who wrote 
the beautiful book known as the Leggenda minore ; and, 
a little later, the famous Frate Raimondo delle Vigne da 
Capua, a strenuous labourer in God's vineyard and a man 
of apostolic spirit, who succeeded Frate Tommaso della 
Fonte as her confessor, and wrote the famous life of her, 
the Leggenda, of which CafFarini's book is in the main 
an abridgement. There were devout women too, who 
robed themselves in the same black and white habit of 
penance, some of them from the noblest families of Siena : 
Alessia Saracini and Francesca Gori, the two whom we 
see with her in Bazzi's frescoes ; several of the Tolomei ; 
and, later, Lisa, the widow of Catherine's brother 
Bartolommeo. Presently there were added to these 
several young men of noble birth, who acted as her 
secretaries and legates, united to her by what seems a 
wonderful blending of religious enthusiasm and spiritual- 
ised affection: Neri di Landocciode' Pagliaresi, a scholar 
and poet ; Francesco Malavolti, a somewhat unstable 
youth who at first relapsed at times into his former 
worldly life, and whom she recalled to herself in one of 
her sweetest and most affectionate epistles, addressing him 


The Story of Siena 

as " carissimo e sopracarissimo figliuolo in Cristo dolce 
Gesti ; " Stefano Maconi, who headed a furious feud of 
his family against the Tolomei and Rinaldini, until con- 
verted by her to be the most beloved son of all her 
spiritual family, and ultimately the sainted prior of the 
Certosa of Pavia. 

One famous episode of this epoch in her life has been 
perpetuated in a letter of Catherine's own, that is one of 
the masterpieces of Italian literature, and in a famous 
fresco of Bazzi's. A young nobleman of Perugia, 
Niccolo di Toldo, attached to the household of the 
Senator of Siena, was sentenced to be beheaded for some 
rash words against the government of the Riformatori. 
In his prison he abandoned himself to desperation and 
despair he was a mere youth, thus doomed to death in 
the flower of his age refused to see priest or friar, would 
make no preparation for his end. Then Catherine came 
to him in his dungeon. Let her own words that she 
wrote to Frate Raimondo tell what followed : 

" I went to visit him of whom you know ; whereby 
he received so great comfort and consolation that he 
confessed and disposed himself right well. And he 
made me promise by the love of God that, when the 
time for the execution came, I would be with him. And 
so I promised and did. Then, in the morning, before 
the bell tolled, I went to him ; and he received great 
consolation. I took him to hear Mass ; and he received 
the Holy Communion, which he had never received again. 1 
His will was attuned and subjected to the will of God ; 
and there alone remained a fear of not being brave at the 
last moment. But the boundless and flaming bounty of 
God passed his expectation, creating in hLn so great 
affection and love in the desire of God, that he could 
not stay without Him, saying : * Stay with me, and 

1 I.e., since his first Communion that at least seems the 
more obvious meaning of la quale mai piu aveva ricevuta. 

4 8 

Saint Catherine of Siena 

do not leave me. So shall 1 fare not otherwise than 
well ; and I die content.' And he laid his head upon 
my breast. Then I felt an exultation and an odour of 
his blood and of mine too, which I desired to shed for 
the sweet spouse Jesus. And as the desire increased in 
my soul and I felt his fear, I said : * Take comfort, my 
sweet brother ; for soon shall we come to the nuptials. 
Thither shalt thou go, bathed in the sweet blood of the 
Son of God, with the sweet name of Jesus, the which I 
would not that it ever leave thy memory. And I am 
waiting for thee at the place of execution.' Now, 
think, father and son, that his heart then lost all fear, 
and his face was transformed from sadness into joy ; and 
he rejoiced, exulted and said : * Whence cometh to me 
so great grace, that the sweetness of my soul will await 
me at the holy place of execution ? ' See how he had 
come to such light that he called the place of execution 
holy ! And he said, * I shall go all joyous and strong ; 
and it will seem to me a thousand years before I come 
there, when I think that you are awaiting me there.' 
And he uttered words of such sweetness of the bounty of 
God, that one might scarce endure it." 

She waited for him at the place of execution, with 
continual prayer, in the spiritual presence of Mary and 
of the virgin martyr Catherine. She knelt down and 
laid her own head upon the block, either dreaming of 
martyrdom or to make herself one in spirit with him at the 
dread moment. She besought Mary to give him light 
and peace of heart, and that she herself might see him 
return to God. Her soul, she says, was so full that, 
although there was a multitude of the people there, she 
could not see a creature. 

" Then he came, like a meek lamb ; and, when he 

saw me, he began to smile ; and he would have me make 

the sign of the Cross over him. When he had received 

the sign, I said : * Up to the nuptials, sweet brother 

D 49 

The Story of Stend 

mine ! for soon shall thou be in the eternal life.' He 
placed himself down with great meekness ; and I stretched 
out his neck and bent down over him, and reminded him 
of the Blood of the Lamb. His mouth said nought, 
save Jesus and Catherine. And, as he spoke so, I 
received his head into my hands, fixing my eyes upon 
the Divine Goodness and saying, * I am willing.' ' 

As she knelt with the severed head in her hands, her 
white robe all crimsoned over with his blood, Catherine 
had one of those mystical visions which she can only tell 
in terms of blood and fire. She saw the soul received 
by its Maker, and saw it, in the first tasting of the divine 
sweetness, turn back to thank her. " Then did my soul 
repose in peace and in quiet, in so great an odour of blood, 
that I could not bear to free myself from the blood that 
had come upon me from him. Alas ! wretched miserable 
woman that I am, I will say no more. I remained upon 
the earth with very great envy." 1 

Gradually we find Catherine becoming a power in her 
own city, a factor in the turbulent politics of Italy, a 
counsellor in what a sixteenth century Pope was to call 
the Game of the World. She dictates epistles, full of 
wise counsels, to the rulers of the Republic to her 
" dearest brothers and temporal lords," the Fifteen, 
Lords Defenders of the city of Siena, to her " most 
reverend and most dear father and son " the Podesta, 
or to her " dearest brother in Christ sweet Jesus," the 
Senator. At Rocca d'Orcia the chief fortress of the 
Salimbeni she reconciles the rival branches of that 
great clan with each other, makes peace between the 
head of the House, her friend Agnolino (the son of the 
great Giovanni di Agnolino Salimbeni) and his factious 
kinsman Cione. While staying at the Rocca, she ap- 
pears to have learnt to write it is said by a miracle. 2 
Be that as it may, the greater part at least of her extant 
1 Letter 273. 2 Letter zji 


Saint Catherine of Siena 

letters (and, so far as the knowledge of the present 
writer extends, all those of which the original autographs 
have been preserved), were dictated to her secretaries. 
We possess nearly four hundred of them, these epistles 
" al nome di Gesii Cristo crocilisso e di Maria dolce," 
written to use her own phrase " in the precious blood 
of Christ " to persons of both sexes, and of every con- 
dition of life from the King of France and the Roman 
Pontiff to a humble Florentine tailor, from the Queens 
of Naples and Hungary to a courtesan in Perugia. Her 
philosophy is simple, but profound : strip yourself of 
self-love, enter into the Cell of Self- Knowledge that 
is the key to it. And all alike, in appearance at least, 
pause to listen to her inspired voice, bow before her 
virginal will. 

There is grim war preparing between Pope Gregory 
XL, in his luxurious exile at Avignon, and the tyrant of 
Milan, Bernabo Visconti. To the Cardinal Legate of 
Bologna, who is to direct the campaign, she writes : 
" Strive to the utmost of your power to bring about the 
peace and the union of all the country. And in this 
holy work, if it were necessary to give up the life of the 
body, it should be given a thousand times, if it were 
possible. Peace, peace, peace, dearest father ! Do 
you and the others consider, and make the Holy Father 
think of the loss of souls rather than the loss of cities ; 
for God requires souls rather than cities." l Bernabo 
and his wife Beatrice each send ambassadors on their 
own account to gain her ear. To the tyrant she writes 
of the law of love, of the vanity of earthly lordship in 
comparison with the lordship of the city of the soul, of 
the necessity of submission to the Head of the Church, 
" the Vicar who holds the keys of the blood of Christ 
crucified." 2 She bids the proud lady of Lombard y robe 
herself with the robe of burning Charity and make her- 
1 Letter n. - Letter 28. 

S 1 

The Story of Siena 

self the means and instrument to reconcile her husband 
" with Christ sweet Jesus, and with His Vicar, Christ on 
earth. " * Her prayers are effectual, and a truce is pro- 
claimed. The Vicar Apostolic in the Papal States 
writes to her for counsel in the name of the Pope. She 
bids him destroy the nepotism and luxury that are 
ruining the Church. Better than labouring for the 
temporalities of the Church would it be to strive to put 
down " the wolves and incarnate demons of pastors, 
who attend to nought else save eating and fine palaces 
and stout horses. Alas ! that what Christ won upon 
the wood of the Cross should be squandered with 
harlots." 2 Then comes the news that the Sovereign 
Pontiff is meditating a crusade. She throws herself 
heart and soul into the undertaking. She addresses 
Queen Giovanna of Naples, the Queen Regent of 
Hungary and many other princes, all of whom answer 
favourably and promise men and money. She cherishes 
the design of freeing Italy from the mercenary com- 
panies, and sends Frate Raimondo to the camp of Sir 
John Hawkwood, with a letter urging the great English 
condottiere and his soldiers to leave the service and the 
pay of the devil, to fight no more against Christians but 
" take the pay and the Cross of Christ crucified, with all 
your followers and companions, so that you may be a 
company of Christ to go against those infidel dogs who 
possess our holy place, where the first sweet Verity 
reposed and sustained death and torment for us." 3 It 
is said that Hawkwood and his captains, before the 
Friar left them, swore upon the Sacrament and gave 
him a signed declaration that, when once the crusade 
was actually started, they would go. 

In February 1375, Catherine left Siena for Pisa, 
charged with negotiations on the Pope's befoilf with the 
latter republic. Here she stayed, with a band of her 
1 Letter zy. 2 Letter 109. 3 Letter 140. 

Saint Catherine of Siena 

disciples, some months, so enfeebled with continual 
ecstasies that they thought her .at the point of death. 
Here, on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, she is said to 
have received the Stigmata the wounds of Christ's 
Passion in her body, in the little church of Santa 
Cristina on the Lungarno. Be this as it may, a new 
epoch in her life begins at this date the epoch of her 
two great struggles for the Church and for Italy. 

Since Clement V. removed the papal chair to France 
in 1305, the Popes had resided at Avignon. Their 
court had become a scandal to Christendom ; Rome 
was abandoned to ruin and ravage. Previously to this 
date, the temporal sovereignty of the Popes had been 
little more than a nominal suzerainty over the cities of 
the Papal States, many of which were either swayed by 
petty despots or governed themselves as free republics. 
But now things were changing. While the Roman 
Pontiffs remained beyond the Alps, their legates were 
attempting to fuse these various elements into a modern 
State. At the head of foreign mercenaries they were 
subjugating city after city, and building fortresses to 
secure their hold. Florence, though forming no part of 
the Papal States, saw her liberties threatened. The 
refusal of the Legate of Bologna, although he had letters 
to the contrary from the Pope, to allow corn to be sent 
from his province into Tuscany in time of famine 
followed, as it was, by the appearance of Hawkwood in 
the territories of the Republic precipitated matters. 
War broke out in the latter part of 1375. The 
Florentines appointed a new magistracy, the Eight of 
the War, to carry it on, and sent a banner, upon which 
was Libertas in white letters on a red field, round to all the 
cities, offering aid in men and money to any who would 
rise against the Church. Citta di Castello began ; Perugia 
followed ; and in a few days all central Italy was in 
arms against the Temporal Power. " It seemed," wrote 


The Story of Siena 

a contemporary, " that the Papal States were like a wall 
built without mortar ; when one stone was taken away, 
almost all the rest fell in ruins." The republics ot 
Siena and Arezzo promptly entered the league ; Pisa 
and Lucca wavered. Conciliatory overtures from the 
Pope, who offered to leave Citta di Castello and Perugia 
in liberty and to make further concessions for the sake 
of peace, were cut short by the expulsion of the Papal 
Legate from Bologna. Florence was solemnly placed 
under the interdict, and an army of ferocious Breton 
soldiers taken into the pay of the Church, under the 
command of the Cardinal Robert of Geneva, for the 
reconquest of the Papal States. 

Even at this moment the more moderate spirits on 
either side looked to the dyer's daughter of Siena for 
light and guidance. Her eloquent appeal which has 
fortunately been preserved to us secured the neutrality 
of Lucca and Pisa. 1 Her whole heart was set upon the 
reconciliation of the Pope with Italy, to be followed by 
the return of the Holy See to Rome, and a complete 
reformation of the Church. She addressed letter after 
letter to the Sovereign Pontiff, calling him dolcisstmo 
babbo mioy claiming to write " to the most sweet Christ 
on earth on behalf of the Christ in Heaven." The 
wickedness and cruel oppression of evil pastors and 
governors have caused this war. Let him win back his 
little rebellious sheep by love and benignity to the fold of 
the Church. Let him uplift the gonfalone of the most 
holy Cross, and he will see the wolves become lambs. 
Let him utterly extirpate these pastors and rulers, these 
poisonous flowers in the garden of the Church, full of 
impurity and cupidity, puffed up with pride, and reform 
her with good pastors and governors " who shall be true 
servants of Jesus Christ, who shall look to nought but 
the honour of God and the salvation of souls, and shall 

1 Letter 168. 

Saint Catherine of Siena 

be fathers of the poor." The Divine Providence has 
permitted the loss of states and worldly goods, " as though 
to show that He wished that Holy Church should return 
to its primal state of poverty, humility, and meekness, as 
she was in that holy time, when they attended to nought 
save to the honour of God and the salvation of souls, 
caring only for spiritual things and not for temporal." 
Let him come straightway to Rome, " like a meek lamb, 
using only the arms of the virtue of love, thinking only 
of the care of spiritual things ; " for God calls him " to 
come to hold and possess the place of the glorious shep- 
herd St Peter." He may claim that he is bound to 
recover and preserve the treasure and the lordships of 
the cities that the Church has lost ; far more greatly is 
he bound to win back so many " little sheep, who are a 
treasure in the Church." Let him choose between the 
temporal power and the salvation of souls ; let him win 
back his children in peace, and he will surely have what 
is due to him. He can conquer only with benignity and 
mildness, humility and patience. " Keep back the soldiers 
that you have hired, and suffer them not to come." Let 
him come as soon as possible, come uomo virile e senza 
alcun timore ; but "look to it that you come not with a 
power of armed men, but with the Cross in your hand, 
like a meek lamb." * But to the Signoria of Florence 
she wrote in another strain : " You know well that 
Christ left us His vicar, and He left him for the cure of 
our souls ; for in nought else can we have salvation, save 
in the mystical body of Holy Church, whose head is 
Christ and we are the members. And whoso shall be 
disobedient to Christ on earth, who is in the place of 
Christ in Heaven, shareth not in the fruit of the blood 
of the Son of God; for God hath ordained that from 
his hands \ve have communion, and are given this blood 

1 Letters 185, 196, 206, 209, 218, 229. She has no thought 
of the Pope's return as a temporal sovereign. (Cf. letter 370.) 


The Story of Siena 

and all the sacraments of Holy Church, which receive 
life from that blood. And we cannot go by another way 
nor enter by another gate." " I tell you that God wills 
and has commanded so, that even if Christ on earth were 
an incarnate demon, much less a good and benign father, 
we must be subject and obedient to him, not for his own 
sake, but in obedience to God, as he is the vicar of 
Christ." Let them hasten to the arms of their father, 
who will receive them benignly, and there will be peace 
and repose, spiritually and temporally for all Tuscany, 
and the war will be directed against the Infidels under 
the banner of the Cross. " If anything can be done 
through me that may be to the honour of God and the 
union of yourselves with the holy Church, I am prepared 
to give my life, if need be." 1 

Catherine had already sent first Neri di Landoccio and 
then Frate Raimondo to the Pope, and she herself was 
summoned to Florence. This was in May 1376. This 
pale estatica, who was believed to live solely upon the 
consecrated Host of the Blessed Sacrament, and who 
seemed already of the other world, was bidden by the 
Signoria and the Eight to plead their cause before the 
Sovereign Pontiff. In June she reached Avignon that 
city of luxury and corruption, that nido di tradimenti upon 
which Petrarch had invoked the rain of fire from heaven. 
The Pope received her graciously. " In order that thou 
mayest see clearly that I desire peace," he said, " I put 
it absolutely into thy hands ; but be careful of the honour 
of the Church." The embassy was a complete failure ; 
the Florentines threw her over contemptuously. No 
trace of personal resentment was seen in the saint, and 
she continued to intercede for them with the Pope, to 
whom she spoke plainly concerning the infamy of the 
place in which he stayed, and the corruption of the 
Roman Curia, until even Frate Raimondo was astounded 
. i Letter 207. 


6 t te 5 2 -f*J * fc*7~ e fe ^i 

...*.H v3^f3 s f JLi B - 

Saint Catherine of Siena 

at her temerity. In one respect she was more successful. 
Her impassioned pleading overcame the pusillanimity of 
Gregory, and in September he left Avignon for Rome. 
Catherine in spite of the paintings that you may still see 
in Rome and Siena did not accompany him to the 
Eternal City. She met him again at Genoa, where her 
indomitable will prevailed over the counsels of the Car- 
dinals, and prevented him from turning back. Then he 
went on his way, and she saw him no more. 

At Genoa, many of her company fell sick. Neri di 
Landoccio was despaired of by the physicians and Stefano 
Maconi seemed dying. Both believed that their spiritual 
mistress and mother healed them miraculously. Seldom 
did Catherine seem sweeter and more loving than at this 
time, watching by the bedside of her young disciples, 
comforting Monna Lapa by letter for her delay, for 
" with desire have I desired to see you my true mother, 
not only of my body but also of my soul." 1 And to her 
"dearest sister and daughter in Christ Jesus," Monna 
Giovanna Maconi, the mother of her Stefano, she writes : 
"Take comfort sweetly and be patient, and do not be 
troubled, because I have kept Stefano too long ; for I 
have taken good care of him. Through love and affec- 
tion I have become one thing with him, and therefore 
have J taken what is yours as though it were mine. I 
am certain that you have not really been distressed at it. 
For you and for him I would fain labour even unto death, 
in all that I shall be able. You, mother, have given 
birth to him once ; and I would fain give birth to him 
and you and all your family in tears and in toil, by con- 
tinual prayers and desire of your salvation." 2 She was 
back at Siena in November, sending another of her flaming 
letters to Gregory, who had reached Corneto on his way 
to Rome, exhorting him to constancy, fortitude and 
patience, urging him to obtain peace by making conces- 
1 Letter 240. 2 Letter 247. 


The Story of Siena 

sions, recommending her native city to him. " I have 
no other desire in this life save to see the honour of God, 
your peace and the reformation of Holy Church, and to 
see the life of grace in every creature that hath reason in 

In January 1377, the Pope made his solemn entry into 
the Eternal City, received with a perfect delirium of joy 
by nobles and people alike. Then a thrill of horror ran 
through Italy. The papal forces the Breton mercen- 
aries of the Cardinal Robert, with the English companies 
of Hawkwood burst into Cesena, butchering men, 
women, and children, committing hideous atrocities of 
every kind that cannot be set down in this place. The 
Pope is said to have kept silence. One more affectionate 
letter did St Catherine write to him in her own familiar 
style, pleading for peace and the reformation of the 
Church. Then he turned against her. " Most holy 
Father," she wrote to him through Raimondo, " to 
whom shall I have recourse, if you abandon me ? Who 
will aid me ? to whom shall I fly, if you drive me away ? 
If you abandon me, conceiving displeasure and indigna- 
tion against me, I will hide myself in the wounds of 
Christ crucified, whose vicar you are, and I know that 
He will receive me, because He wills not the death of 
the sinner. And if He receives me, you will not drive me 
away ; rather shall we stay in our place to fight manfully 
with the arms of virtue for the sweet Spouse of Christ." 2 
Her last extant letter to Gregory, pleading for peace 
with the Italians and for the punishment " of the pastors 
and officers of the Church when they do what they 
should not do," recommending to him the ambassadors of 
Siena who came to treat for the restitution of Talamone, 
which the papal troops had occupied, is in a colder and 

1 Letter 252. 

a Letters 270, 267. These have obviously been transposed 
in chronological order. 


Saint Catherine of Siena 

more formal tone. 1 Other sorrows came upon her. 
The Sienese distrusted her intimacy with the Salimbeni, 
accusing her and Frate Rnimondo (poverello calunmato, as 
she called him) of plotting, whereas she declared that 
the only conspiracy in which she was engaged was for 
the discomfiture and overthrow of the devil. One of 
her own disciples conceived a guilty passion for her and 
fled from her circle, writing that he had become a vessel 
of contumely, that he was now " cut off, extinguished 
and blotted out of the book in which I felt myself so 
sweetly fed." 

Once more, early in 1378, did Catherine go to 
Florence to labour in the cause of peace. She addressed 
the Signoria in a solemn meeting in the Palazzo Vecchio, 
and induced them to meet the Pope half way by respect- 
ing the interdict. " The dawn is come at last," she 
cried exultingly : r aurora e valuta. And she prevailed 
upon the captains of the Parte Guelfa to offer a firm 
resistance to the war policy of the Eight, while en- 
deavouring, through Stefano Maconi, to prevent them 
from abusing the power that their right of admonish- 
ing " put into their hands. She was still in Florence 
when Gregory died, and the Archbishop of Bari, 
Bartolommeo Prignani, was elected Pope amidst the 
furious clamours of the Roman populace, as Urban VI. 
To him Catherine wrote at once, in the same way as 
she had done to Gregory, urging him to check the cor- 
ruption and wickedness of the clergy, to make good 
Cardinals, to receive the Florentines back into the fold 
of the Church, and above all (for she knew something 
of the character of the man with whom she had now to 
deal) to take his stand upon true and perfect Charity. 2 
A few weeks later the terrible rising of the populace, 
known as the Tumult of the Ciompi, burst over Florence. 
The adherents of St Catherine, as associated with the 
' Letter 285. * Letter 291. 


The Story of Siena 

hated Parte Guelfa, were specially obnoxious to the 
mob, and her own life was threatened. A band of 
armed men came into the garden where she knelt in 
prayer, crying out that they would cut her to pieces. 
She prepared for martyrdom as for a joyous feast, and 
wept bitterly when she was left unharmed, declaring that 
the multitude of her sins had prevented her from being 
suffered to shed her blood for Christ. She wrote in 
this strain to Frate Raimondo, saying that she would 
begin a new life that day, in order that these sins of 
hers might no longer withdraw her from the grace of 
martyrdom ; her only fear was lest what had hap- 
pened might in some way influence the Pope against a 
speedy peace. 1 At the end of July peace was signed ; 
Florence and the other cities of Tuscany were to be 
reconciled to the Holy See, and Catherine returned to 
Siena. " Oh, dearest children," she wrote, " God has 
heard the cry and the voice of His servants, that for so 
long a time have cried out in His sight, and the wailing 
that for so long they have raised over their children 
dead. Now are they risen again ; from death are they 
come to life, and from blindness to light. Oh, dearest 
children, the lame walk and the deaf hear, the blind eye 
sees, and the dumb speak, crying with loudest voice : 
Peace, peace, peace ! with great gladness, seeing those 
children returning to the obedience and favour of the 
father, and their minds pacified. And, even as persons 
who now begin to see, they say : Thanks be to Thee, 
Lord, who hast reconciled us with our holy Father. 
Now is the Lamb called holy, the sweet Christ on earth, 
where before he was called heretic and patarin. Now 
do they accept him as father, where hitherto they rejected 
him. I wonder not thereat ; for the cloud has passed 
away and the serene weather has come." 2 

Not long did // tempo sereno hold. While it lasted 
1 Letter 295. a Letter 303. 


Saint Catherine of Siena 

Catherine remained quietly at Siena, dictating to her 
secretaries, Neri, Stefano, and a certain Barduccio 
Canigiani (a young nobleman who had joined her 
spiritual family at Florence), her book the famous 
Dialogue. It consists of four mystical treatises on 
Discretion, Prayer, Divine Providence, and Obedience, 
in the form of a dialogue between God and a soul 
"panting with greatest desire for the honour of God and 
the salvation of souls." This Dialogue and her Letters 
represent St Catherine's literary work. 1 It was finished 
in October. Already the tempest had burst upon the 
Church, of which the first rumblings had been heard 
during her stay at Florence, and Catherine was now to 
be summoned to Rome to fight her last great battle. 

Urban VI. had a high reputation for zeal and virtue ; 
he was, in addition, a good Italian. From the outset 
he announced his intention of reforming the Roman 
Court, of extirpating simony and luxury in the Church. 
" They say," the Prior of the Certosa of Gorgona had 
written to Catherine on the first news of his elevation, 
" that this our Holy Father is a terrible man, and 
frightens people exceedingly with his acts and his 
words." The abrupt violence with which he began his 
work enraged and alarmed all the Curia, and within a 
few months of his election he was left alone. The 
French Cardinals fled to Anagni, and took the Breton 
mercenaries into their pay. When the Pope nominated 
twenty-six new cardinals, they held a conclave at Fondi, 
and, on the plea that the election of Urban had been 
extorted by force and fear of the Roman mob, and was 

1 The Dialogue, // Dialogo della Serafica Santa Caterina da Siena, 
will be found in Gigli, vol. iv., and has been translated (some- 
what freely) into English by Mr Algar Thorold. To the 
Dialogue and the Letters, we should add the Trattato della Con- 
wmata Perfezione and a short collection of prayers, also printed 
in Gigli, L'ofere, etc., vol. iv. 


The Story of Siena 

therefore invalid, they raised the infamous Cardinal 
Robert of Geneva to the Popedom as Clement VII. 
All Christendom was now divided in its spiritual 
allegiance between two men, each claiming to be the 
Vicar of the Prince of Peace ; any earthly prince would 
have dismissed the one with ignominy from his service, 
the other was soon to fall hopelessly and shamefully 
from his fair beginning. 

But Catherine believed passionately in Urban, threw 
herself heart and soul into the struggle. "I have heard," 
she wrote to him, " that the incarnate demons have raised 
up an Antichrist against you, Christ on earth ; but I 
confess and do not deny that you are the Vicar of Christ, 
that you hold the keys of the cellar of Holy Church, 
where the blood of the Immaculate Lamb is kept." 1 
And in the twenty months of life that remained to her 
she battled for him to the death. Letter after letter did 
she send to him, full of evangelic counsels, urging him 
in the boldest possible language to begin the reform of 
the Church in his own person. Savonarola himself 
hardly surpasses the passion of her invective against the 
corruption of the ecclesiastical world. Urban is at first 
offended by her frankness, rebukes her messengers, and 
will not listen to her. Then his heart is touched, and 
he summons her to Rome. " Pray for me," she writes 
to Suor Daniella, a nun of Orvieto, " to the supreme 
eternal goodness of God, that He may do with me what 
shall be to His honour and the salvation of souls ; and 
especially now that I am to go to Rome, to accomplish 
the will of Christ crucified and of His Vicar." 

Catherine reached the Eternal City at the end of 
November 1378, with a band of her disciples of both 
sexes, including Alessia, Francesca and Lisa, Neri di 
Landoccio and Barduccio Canigiani. Stefano Maconi 
remained at Siena, but Frate Raimondo was already in 

1 Letter 306. 

Saint Catherine of Siena 

Rome. The city was in a parlous state. Sant' Angelo 
was held by the soldiery of the Antipope, who kept 
Urban out of the Vatican ; the Breton mercenaries 
threatened the gates, and there were savage tumults in 
the streets. Urban would have Catherine address his 
new cardinals assembled in the Consistory, after which 
he " praised, her much in the Lord." In these first few 
months of his pontificate, uhile she yet lived, he seemed 
an utterly different man to what he afterwards became. 
He realised to the full the moral value of her support, 
and would not suffer her to leave Rome. On his behalf 
she dispatched fiery epistles all over Europe, declaring 
that he alone was the true Pope, the Vicar of Christ. 
To simple nuns she wrote imploring them to storm 
Heaven with prayers for his cause ; to monks and 
hermits, bidding them leave their cells and convents, rally 
round the Sovereign Pontiff in the Eternal City, or do 
battle for him in the haunts and abodes of men. '* Ye 
fools," she wrote to the three Italian Cardinals who were 
'striving to remain neutral, " fools, worthy of a thousand 
deaths" but the epistle must be read in its entirety, for 
it is one of the most amazing documents of the epoch. 1 
Other epistles secured the adhesion of the Republics of 
Siena and Florence, of Venice and Perugia. To the 
Queen of Naples, as chief supporter of Clement (whom 
she presently received as Sovereign Pontiff on his way 
to Avignon), she pleads Urban's cause with calm reason, 
turning off the arrows of her words to strike the hostile 
Cardinals; and in like manner to Onorato Gaetani, 
Count of Fondi, who had protected the schismatic con- 
clave with his hired troops. " Where is the just man 
that they have elected for Antipope," she writes again 
to the Queen of Naples, " if in very sooth our supreme 
pontiff, Pope Urban VI., were not true Vicar of Christ? 
What man have they chosen ? A man of holy life ? 
1 Letter 310. 


The Story of Siena 

No : a man of iniquity, a demon ; and therefore he does 
the office of the devils." l In December the adherents 
of the Antipope were lying in wait to take Frate 
Raimondo, whom the Pope was sending on a dangerous 
mission to France, and the good friar's courage failed 
him. Catherine, with her mystic longings for shedding 
her blood for the cause, was amazed at his pusillanimity, 
and sent him letters of characteristic remonstrance, re- 
minding him that he need have no fear, because he was 
not worthy of the grace of martyrdom, exhorting him to 
be a man and not a woman, laying all the blame on her- 
self (as she invariably does in her severest letters), 
pleading love as her excuse for rebuking him. 

In the meanwhile Urban had hired the Italian mer- 
cenaries of the Company of St George, commanded by 
Count Alberico da Balbiano. On April 2Qth Alberico 
gained a complete victory over the Breton and Gascon 
soldiery of the Clementines at Marino, and the French 
governor of Sant' Angelo surrendered to the Senator of 
Rome, Giovanni Cenci. Catherine is said and a passage 
in one of her letters seems to confirm it to have been 
the means of effecting the surrender. At her instigation 
the Pope went barefooted from Santa Maria in Trastevere 
to San Pietro in solemn procession, to give thanks before 
returning to take up his abode in the Vatican an act of 
humility that aroused astonishment (strange reflection on 
the pomp of the Curia !) as something that had not been 
seen for ages. To the magistrates of the Roman 
Republic she wrote a letter on behalf of the victorious 
soldiery, which Tommaseo characterises as " worthy of 
the name of Rome." 2 Then, flushed with victory, she 
addresses the King of France, in hopes that he may still 
be won over ; she makes one more flaming, impassioned 
appeal to the Queen of Naples, and then sole blot, I 
think, in all this blameless life co-operates with Urban, 
1 Letter 317 2 Letter 349. 


Saint Catherine of Siena 

in her letters to the King Louis and his cousin, Charles 
of Durazzo, in his attempt to raise the power of Hungary 
and Poland upon Giovanna's head. 1 Her last extant 
letter to Urban himself is to urge him to adopt a mild 
and generous policy towards the Roman People. " You 
must surely know," she says, "the character of your 
Roman children, how they are 
drawn and bound more by gentle- 
ness than by any violence or by 
harshness of words ; and you 
know, too, the great necessity that 
is yours and Holy Church's, of 
preserving this people in obedience 
and reverence to your Holiness ; 
for here is the head and the be- 
ginning of our faith." 2 A furious 
riot broke out at the beginning of 
1380. The Roman populace rose 
in arms and assailed the Vatican, 
threatening the Pope's life. Cathe- 
rineinterposedandstilled the tumult. 
This was her last public action. 

She was spared the sight, of 
Urban's fall, and was not doomed 
to witness the shame, the blood 
and the madness in which "her 
most sweet Christ on earth " ended 
his unhappy pontificate. Fearful visions of demons began 
to assail her, mingling with the celestial visitations of her 
Divine Spouse. Her bodily sufferings became unendur- 
able. She cried to God to receive the sacrifice of her 
life in the mystical body of the Church. Praying in San 
Pietro on Sexagesima Sunday, it seemed to her that the 
Navicella the Ship of the Church was laid upon her 
shoulders, and that it crushed her to death. The few 
1 Letters 350, 362, 357, 372. 2 Letter 370. 

E 65 

St Catherine's Lamp 

The Story of Siena 

weeks of life that remained to her were one prolonged 
martyrdom, out of which we have her last letter l 
written on February I5th, 1380 her farewell to Frate 
Raimondo, full of mystical exultation in her own suffer- 
ings, tanii dolci tormenti cor.porali. But all who approached 
her wondered at the tranquillity and the sweetness with 
which she spoke, and " albeit she was excessively afflicted 
in her body, her face remained always angelical and devout 
with a holy gladness." 

At last on April 29th, 1380, the Sunday before the 
Ascension, she passed away, surrounded by her spiritual 
family and leaning upon Alessia Saracini, uttering " cer- 
tain most profound things," writes Barduccio, "which 
because of my sins I was not worthy to understand." 2 
To Stefano Maconi, who had hastened from Siena to 
stand by her side ; to Monna Lapa, who had taken the 
habit like her daughter and daughter-in-law ; and to each 
of the others, she gave a separate charge as to their mode 
of life after she should be dead. " And she prayed with 
such great affection that not only our hearts as we 
listened, but the very stones could have been broken. 
Finally, making the sign of the Cross, she blessed us all ; 
and so to the last and most desired end of life she drew 
near, persevering in continual prayer and saying : * Thou, 
Lord, dost call me, and I come to Thee ; I come not 
through my own merits, but through Thy mercy alone, 
the which mercy I ask from Thee in virtue of Thy 
blood.' And then, many times, she cried : Sangue, sangue! 
At last, after the example of the Saviour, she said : 
* Father, into Thy hands I commend my soul and spirit.' 
And so, sweetly, with her face all angelical and glowing, 
she bowed her head and gave up her spirit." 

1 Letter 373. 

2 Barduccio's letter to a nun at Florence, describing every 
detail of Catherine's death, will be found in the Appendix to 
the Leggenda. 



The People and the Petrucci 

A FTER the expulsion of the Riformatori in March 
1385, a new supreme magistracy was instituted to 
rule the Republic. It was composed of ten citizens 
the " Signori Priori, Governatori della Citta di Siena " 
who held office for two months. Four of these priors 
were of the Nine, four of the Twelve, and two of the 
People. A new order the Monte del Popolo was 
formed to include those plebeians, or Popolani of the 
Greater Number, who had not shared in the govern- 
ment of the Rifonnatori ; and it gradually rose in im- 
portance, reinforced in later years by families of nobles 
who became popolant and by others of the lower classes 
who had come to Siena from elsewhere. 

A turbulent and unsettled period followed, of incessant 
plots against the new government and of disastrous wars. 
In November 1385, Siena joined in a league, offensive 
and defensive, with the Communes of Bologna, Florence, 
Pisa and Lucca, against the wandering companies of mer- 
cenaries. But presently that never-healed wound, the 
question of Montepulciano, opened again, and a prolonged 
war with Florence followed in consequence. Both 
Cortona and Montepulciano were lost to Siena. In 
1389 the Sienese allied themselves for ten years with 
Giovanni Galeazzo Visconti, who had dethroned his 
uncle Bernabo and was now manifestly intending to con- 
quer all northern and central Italy. A Sienese poet, 
Simone di Ser Dino Forestani ("il Saviozzo") hailed 


The Story of Siena 

him as the coming deliverer of the Italian nation in a 
noted canzone, which Carducci has called the last cry of 
Ghibellinism. A number of the Malavolti and Tolomei, 
headed by Messer Orlando Malavolti, chose exile in the 
following years rather than see their country fall into 
servitude. Giovanni Galeazzo was created Duke of 
Milan by the Emperor Wenceslaus in 1395 ; and, when 
the end of the term of the alliance drew near, the Sienese 
found themselves so exhausted with war, famine and 
pestilence that in 1399 they formally surrendered the 
independence of their city, with its contado and district, 
to the Duke and his successors, swore obedience and 
fidelity to him in the persons of his ambassadors, and 
hailed their new yoke with wild festivities. The Duke 
died in 1402 ; he had just taken Bologna and intended, 
as soon as Florence fell into his hands, to be crowned 
King of Italy. His newly acquired dominions fell to 
pieces. In November 1403, the Salimbeni (who, in 
opposition to the Malavolti and Tolomei, had been among 
the foremost in introducing the ducal sovereignty into 
Siena) and the heads of the Dodicini, probably instigated 
by the Florentines, called the Sienese to arms to recover 
their liberty. The Noveschi and People opposed them. 
There was a struggle in the Campo, an attempt to capture 
the Palazzo ; but Francesco Salimbeni was killed and the 
Dodicini expelled from the government. In the follow- 
ing year the liberation of Siena was peaceably effected. 
Peace was made with Florence in April, and, the ducal 
lieutenant having left the city, the Sienese annulled 
the suzerainty and all the authority that had been given 
to the Duke of Milan and his successors, and commanded 
that his arms, wherever they had been set up in the 
dominions of the Republic, should be completely obliter- 
ated. But Orlando Malavolti returned to his native city 
only to die. On his way to salute the Signoria he was 
treacherously murdered in the streets by the hirelings of 

The People and the Petrucci 

those who had seized upon his possessions, which they 
hoped thus to keep in their hands. 

[n the meantime the form of the chief magistracy had 

The Mangia Tower 

undergone various alterations. Not only had the Dodicini 
been expelled, but the Riformatori had been readmitted. 
It now consisted of nine Priors, three of the Monte del 
Popolo, three of the Monte de' Nove, and three of the 


The Story of Siena 

Monte de' Riformatori ; with a tenth, the Captain of the 
People and Gonfaloniere of Justice, chosen from each 
Monte and from each terzo of the city in turn. But 
throughout the period that follows, and indeed down to 
the end of the Republic, we shall find the real authority 
vested in what was known as the Balia. This originally 
simply meant the power or authority committed to certain 
citizens for some special purpose ; but it gradually became 
converted into an ordinary magistracy, distinct from the 
Signoriaor Concistoro. From 1455 when it was speci- 
ally instituted in this form to superintend a prolonged 
and dangerous war until the fall of the Republic, the 
Collegia di Balia had the supreme control of the 
State, with authority over the laws and government of 
Siena, although the outward appearances of supremacy 
were left to the Signoria, the members of which (the 
Signori) were still, nominally, the chief magistrates of 
the Republic. 

The first three-quarters of the fifteenth century in the 
history of Siena are a medley of somewhat inglorious 
wars with incessant faction. We find Siena allied with 
Florence against King Ladislaus of Naples (the son of 
Charles of Durazzo), then at war with Florence again, 
then allied with Pope Calixtus III. against the great 
condottiere Jacopo Piccinino, in a war more famous for 
the stern penalty that the Republic knew how to exact 
from a treacherous general than for any action in the 
field. 1 There were alarms and excursions from the 
fuorusciti in the contado ; there were conspiracies within 
Siena itself, especially one most formidable in 1456 to 
subject the Republic to King Alfonso of Naples (who 
had substituted an Aragonese dynasty for the House of 
Anjou in that kingdom), in which certain families of the 
Monte de' Nove headed by Antonio Petrucci, Ghino 
di Pietro Bellanti and Marino Bargagli were deeply 

1 See pp. 144, 145. 

The People and the Petrucci 

involved. But, all the while, great personalities are 
moving across the Sienese stage. 

San Bernardino Albizzeschi, born of a noble family 
in 1380, the year of St Catherine's death, may be said 
to have carried on, in part, her work during the first half 
of this century. A zealous reformer of morals, for forty 
years this Franciscan friar wandered over Italy from 
city to city, preaching repentance, healing schisms, re- 
buking tyrants, stilling the bloody tumults of political 
factions, reconciling peoples and princes. "He con- 
verted and changed the minds and spirits of men mar- 
vellously," writes a contemporary, Vespasiano da Bisticci, 
" a wondrous power he had in persuading men to lay 
aside their mortal hatreds. " He has left his mark upon 
almost every street of his native city, of which he refused 
the bishopric. In a place where he had wrought many 
conversions, a maker of dice represented to the saint 
that he and his fellow-craftsmen were being reduced to 
beggary, by reason of his denunciation of gambling. 
Bernardino bade him make tablets with the letters I.H.S. 
instead. This devotion to the Divine Name grew apace, 
above all in Ferrara and Siena; and when, worn out 
with his apostolic labours, Bernardino died in 1444 at 
Aquila, there was hardly a town through which he had 
passed that had not placed upon its gates and palaces, 
no less than on the private houses of its citizens, the 
sacred sign of the Name in which he had overcome the 

A young nobleman stood listening in the Campo when 
Bernardino preached there in 1427. "He moved me 
so much," he wrote in after years, " that I, too, very 
nearly entered his order." This was Enea Silvio 
Piccolomini, who, born at Corsignano in 1405, was 
then a student in the city and a rising poet. Two 
imperial visits during this epoch have left their mark in 
Sienese art. Sigismund III. came to Siena in 1432, 


The Story of Siena 

on his way to be crowned in Rome, and stayed some 
while in the city that then, as ever, professed unalterable 
loyalty to the Holy Roman Empire. Memorials of his 
visit are the curious graffito picture of him enthroned, on 
the pavement of the Duomo, and a most unedifying love 
story, De Duobus Amant'ibus^ describing an intrigue be- 
tween one of his barons and a lady of Siena written a 
little later by this same Enea Silvio, who had left his 
native city to seek his fortune elsewhere, and was now 
poet laureate. Frederick III. came at the beginning of 
1452 to meet his bride, Leonora of Portugal. A fresco 
in the library of the Duomo and a pillar outside the 
Porta Camollia still record the event; and "all the 
resources of that festive art in which the Italy of the 
Renaissance so excelled were displayed for the enter- 
tainment of the noble pair during their stay in Siena." * 
Oar poet laureate was now the Emperor's secretary and 
the Bishop of Siena itself. Six years later Enea Silvio 
Piccolomini was elected Pope in 1458, to succeed to 
Calixtus III., and took the title of Pius II. " Shall 
we raise a poet to the Chair of St Peter ? " asked a rival 
cardinal, "and let the Church be governed on pagan 
principles ? " 

It will be better to speak of the character and deeds 
of Pope Pius II. when we stand before the frescoed 
story of his life in the Duomo. Suffice it now to say 
that there was great festivity and rejoicing when the 
news of his elevation reached Siena, but coupled with 
some mistrust. The Pope was suspected of being a par- 
tisan of the gentiluomsm t who were still rigorously ex- 
cluded from the Signoria, the Balia, the Council of the 
People and all the chief offices of State. To please 
him, the Piccolomini were qualified to enter the govern- 
ment (messi nel Reggimento}, by being distributed among 
the three ruling Monti ; while Nanni Todeschini, the 

1 Pastor, II., p. 147. 

Alinari, Florence 



The People and the Petrucci 

husband of the Pope's sister Laodamia, together with 
his four sons, Antonio, Francesco, Andrea and Giacomo 
(to whom Pius had given the arms and name of Picco- 
lomini), was similarly qualified for the Signoria and 
Council of the People, and received into the Monte 
del Popolo. The Pope, however, demanded that all 
the nobles should be made eligible to all posts in the 
government ; he told the Sienese envoys that, unless his 
request were granted, he would withhold the favours 
that he had intended to confer upon his native city. In 
spite of the intervention of the Duke of Milan, the 
Sienese remained obstinate, until the Pope threatened 
to go to Florence without passing through Siena. Then 
the Balia yielded in part, and Pius came to the city in 
February 1459. He had a magnificent reception from 
all orders in the State; but Malavolti tells us that on 
the part of the chief men of the Republic the rejoicing 
was more simulated than real, for that they bitterly re- 
sented his attempted insertion of the nobles into the 
popular government of the city. Nevertheless, during 
his stay Pius loaded the Sienese with favours, gave the 
Golden Rose to the Commune, and raised the See to 
the rank of an archbishopric. His attempts to allay the 
factions and to obtain the admission of the nobles were 
only partly successful ; and what little share in the 
government had been granted to the latter was taken 
away from them (exception being still made for the 
Piccolomini), after his death in 1464. To this day 
Siena bears more of the stamp of Pius II. than of any 
other single man. Everywhere in her streets the arms 
of the Piccolomini are as much in evidence as the sacred 
monogram that San Bernardino had set up. The Loggia 
that Pius raised to his family, the palaces that his kins- 
folk built, still stand, while the Library of the Duomo 
gleams still with the gorgeous frescoed pageant of hs 
life. And away to the south, in the district of Monte- 


The Story of Siena 

pulciano, the little village of Corsignano, where he had 
been born in 1405, and was transformed by him into a 
city, is still called from his name Pienza, and still bears 
the imprint of his genial and splendid spirit in the noble 
buildings, secular and religious alike, that his munificence 

A potentate of a very different character now for a 
while overshadows the Republic Alfonso, Duke of 
Calabria, son of King Ferrante of Naples. The Duke 
meditated the acquisition of all Tuscany, and between 
1468 and 1480 he made Siena the basis of his opera- 
tions. The Republic joined the King and Pope 
Sixtus IV. in the war against Lorenzo de* Medici, and 
had the one real battle of the campaign of 1479 de- 
picted in fresco in the Palace of the Commune. 
Gorgeous pageants and dances greeted the visit of any 
member of the Royal House to Siena. The Duke 
"became the centre of the extravagant, pleasure-loving 
Sienese society ; and the cruel, passionate Alfonso, who 
recognised no scruples in matters human and divine, 
became the popular godfather to the babies of the 
Republic." 1 There was a strong party within the city 
itself that would gladly have accepted him as their 
suzerain, and he still lingered at Buonconvento after the 
peace had been made with Florence. On June 23rd, 
1480, the Noveschi and some of the Monte del Popolo, 
together with the mercenaries left by the Duke in 
charge of the city, occupied the Campo early in the 
morning, and expelled the Riformatori from the 
government. The Duke returned to Siena the next 
day, and was received with enthusiasm at the Porta 
Romana. There was a wild demonstration in the 
Campo, as the people, all armed, with frantic cheering 
and deafening uproar, brought him to the Palace. 
" When he got to the door of the Palace," says Alle- 

1 Armstrong, Lorenzo dj Medici, p. 178. 

The People and the Petrucci 

gretto, " all the people rejoiced with such sounding of 
trumpets and of bells that rang a gloria, and with such 
firing of guns and shouting, that it was a jubilation." 
In the place of the suppressed Monte of the Riforma- 
tori, a new Monte of the Aggregati was formed com- 
posed partly of nobles, partly of those Noveschi who had 
been excluded from the government for the conspiracy 
of 1456, partly of popolani who had never held the 
priorate, and to these were added a few of the Rifor- 
matori at the Duke's request. But the capture of 
Otranto by the Turks, in August, recalled the Duke 
to his father's dominions, and in the following year 
the decision of King Ferrante (la iniqua sentgnza, as 
Allegretto calls it), compelling the Sienese to surrender 
certain towns and castles to the Florentines, destroyed 
the last remnants of his popularity. 

Seven years of tumult and faction followed the 
departure of the Duke of Calabria. The annulling of 
the new Monte of the Aggregati, the re-admission of 
the Riformatori and the Dodicini, were accompanied by 
a series of furious battles in the streets. In July 1482 
there was a general rising of the people Popolani, 
Dodicini, Riformatori against the Noveschi, who, 
headed by the Bellanti, Petrucci, and Borghesi, as- 
sembled in arms in the Postierla. The Noveschi swept 
down the Via di Citta, but were hurled back to the 
Postierla, and their leaders forced to take refuge in the 
palaces of the Pecci and Borghesi, which, after a fierce 
contest of more than three hours with crossbows and 
guns and long lances, surrendered, at the persuasion of 
the Cardinal Archbishop, Francesco Piccolomini (the 
nephew of Pius II.), and the arms wire laid down for 
a while. It is on this occasion that the name of 
Pandolfo di Bartolommeo Petrucci first appears pro- 
minently as a leader of the Noveschi. 

At the beginning of 1483 the Balia was entirely 


The Story of Siena 

composed of Popolani, and the Noveschi were deprived 
"for ever" of any share in the government. Luzio 
Bellanti, with a few daring spirits, occupied Montereg- 
gioni, and held it for some weeks against the Republic 
which was made an excuse for arresting the leading 
Noveschi in Siena. The Papal Legate, Cardinal 
Giovanni Battista Cibo (afterwards Innocent VIII.), 
came from Rome as a peace-maker ; and in March it 
was decided to reduce the four Monti to one, " di far di 
tutto il Reggimento un Monte," which should be called 
the Monte del Popolo, and in which some Noveschi 
were to be admitted. But on April ist a furious mob 
burst into the Palace, seized four of the imprisoned 
Noveschi Agnolo Petrucci, Biagio Turchi, and two 
others with a plebeian of their, faction, and hurled 
them out of the windows, to be dashed to pieces on 
the pavement below. Disgusted and disillusioned, the 
Legate at once left the city. The Noveschi, headed by 
the Petrucci and Bellanti, together with others of other 
orders, at length retired from the territory of the Re- 
public, and watched for the opportunity of recovering 
their state by force of arms; while, on August yth, the 
Council of the People carried unanimously a resolution 
"that Siena should be given and presented to our 

The exiles had not long to wait. New factions 
broke out in the city, with plotting and counter-plotting, 
rioting and executions. Numbers of each order were 
banished. The Noveschi, supported by the King of 
Naples and the new Pope Innocent, collected troops 
under Giulio Orsini, and threatened the contado. 
Their first attempts were unsuccessful ; but at length 
certain of the Riformatori and Dodicini, ousted from 
the administration and oppressed by the government, 
opened negotiations with the chosen representatives of 
the Noveschi Niccolo Borghesi and Neri Placidi in 

The People and the Petrucci 

Rome and Leonardo .Bellanti in Pisa probably with the 
knowledge of the Cardinal Francesco, who, through- 
out these turbulent and blood-stained years, had acted 
strenuously, though not always successfully, as peace- 
maker. The Noveschi and other exiles assembled at 

Via Fontebranda 

Staggia, and, with a small force of Florentine soldiers, 
arrived at the Porta Fontebranda before dawn on July 
22nd, 1487. Pandolfo Petrucci is said to have been the 
first to scale the walls. Leaving a small guard to hold 
the gate and secure their retreat if unsuccessful, they 
pressed up to the Croce del Travaglio, and then rushed 
through the streets, shouting " People and Nine ! 


The Story of Siena 

Liberty and Peace ! " After a brief resistance, the 
Captain of the People was forced to surrender the 
Palace, and there was practically no opposition else- 
where. Camillo Venturini a young man of the Monte 
del Popolo killed with a bill-hook a- certain Messer 
Cristoforo di Guidoccio to avenge his father, Lorenzo 
di Antonio Venturini, who had been beheaded in the 
previous year, and the Captain of the People was like- 
wise put to death. But otherwise there was little or 
no bloodshed, save by way of private vendetta in the 
first confusion. Bartolommeo Sozzini, one of the 
Dodicini who had worked the scheme at Pisa, where 
he held a chair, returned with a party of mounted 
crossbowmen to share in the new regime. The two 
most honoured citizens of Siena the Cardinal Fran- 
cesco and his brother Andrea Piccolomini came in, a 
day or two later, and the revolution was complete. 

The government was, of course, reformed in the interests 
of the conquerors, but the other factions were not entirely 
excluded. There were the inevitable tumults, con- 
spiracies, executions and banishments, accompanied by 
various changes in the constitution, but all tending to the 
ultimate preponderance of the Monte de' Nove, whose 
government was styled "the government devout and 
consecrated to the glorious Virgin Mary, the patroness 
and defender of our Republic." On the last day of 1494, 
there was a solemn reconciliation between the Popolani 
and the Noveschi. The former assembled in the Spedale, 
the latter in the Vescovado, and then in the evening they 
went separately to the Duomo. The Noveschi occupied 
the gospel side of the altar and -choir, the Popolani the 
epistle side, and the Cardinal in full pontifical vestments 
came out of the sacristy and took his seat between the 
two parties in front of the high altar. " This is the day 
which the Lord hath made," began his illustrious and 
most reverend Lordship, " let us rejoice and be glad in 

The People and the Petrucci 

it ; " and he proceeded to deliver an impassioned oration 
in favour of concord, expressing his conviction that the 
peace and quiet of the city were at last secured. Then a 
notary stepped forward and read the articles of the peace, 
with a most fearful string of curses and excommunications 
against any who should offend against them or break any 
of them "in such wise," writes the diarist, "that I, 
Allegretto di Nanni Allegretti, who was present at these 
things, do not believe that there was ever made nor heard 
a more stupendous and a more horrible swearing than 
this." It was already night, and beneath the flaming 
torches the notaries on either side inscribed the names of 
the citizens, who all swore upon the Crucifix of the 
Missal ; and while they swore and while they solemnly 
kissed each other, the bells rang and the choir with the 
organ burst out into Te Deum Laudamus. " Now may 
it please God," continues Allegretto, " that this be the 
peace and the quiet of all the citizens ; but I doubt it." * 
In the following March, it was decided that the 
government of the city should be equally divided among 
three Monti; the Monte de* Nove ; the Monte del 
Popolo ; the Monte of the Gentiluomini and Dodicini ; 
and that those of the Riformatori who were admitted 
should be distributed among these three Monti. A 
number of exiles were recalled. Then the Signoria with 
all the Council went to the Duomo, to return thanks to 
God and to the Virgin Mary, the Te Deum Laudamus was 
sung, the bells rang a gloria, and they returned to the 
Palace. But the real authority was still vested in the 
Balia. A special magistracy called the Consiglio del tre 
segreti had been instituted in 1492, the three being chosen 
from the members of the Balia, and wielding, up to a 
certain point, the authority of the Balia. By means of 
this special Council suppressed at intervals by the 
enemies of the Noveschi, but almost always soon re- 

1 Diari Seneti, 836, 837. 


The Story of Siena 

established the Monte de* Nove swayed the State. 
The government was rapidly becoming an oligarchy, in 
the hands of certain families of Noveschi. 

Writing of the factions of Siena, Machiavelli calls the 
Noveschi the " nobili." They were in fact a kind of 
burgher nobility, risen out of families of merchants in the 
course of the previous century. We find their parallel 
in Florentine history in the ottimati, the nobili popolani, 
whose prepotency had been overthrown by the Medici 
more than half a century before. They were men of 
wealth and influence, munificent patrons of art and letters ; 
several of them must rank among the most enlightened 
men of their day. Prominent among them, the heart 
and soul of the new regime, are the Petrucci, Salvetti, 
Borghesi, Bichi and Bellanti. The more violent spirits 
are Giacoppo and Pandolfo Petrucci, Luzio and Leonardo 
Bellanti; but the noblest is Niccolo di Bartolommeo 
Borghesi, an ardent patriot and a profound scholar, whom 
Professor Zdekauer regards as the most important per- 
sonality in the story of Siena during the second half of 
the Quattrocento. Niccolo had taken a leading part in 
the return ofthefoorusfiti in 148 7, and in the September 
of that year he was appointed professor for five years at 
the Studio to read "Opus Humanitatis ac moralem Phylo- 
sophiam," and at the same time made Secretary of State 
" with the charge of writing the annals and the deeds of 
the Sienese from the foundation of the City itself." * 
But he showed more desire to make history than to 
write it, married his daughter Aurelia to Pandolfo Petrucci 
and plunged into the turmoil of the political conflict. 

" Pandolfo Petrucci returned with other exiles to 
Siena," writes Machiavelli in the famous chapter of his 
Discorsi dealing with conspiracies, " and the custody of 
the piazza was put into his charge, as a mechanical thing 
and one which the others refused ; nevertheless those 

1 Zdekauer, Lo Studio di Siena nel Rinascimente, pp. 119-124. 

The People and the Petrucci 

armed men in time gave him so great a reputation that, in 
a short while, he became prince of the city." Pandolfo 
was born in 1452, and was therefore still under forty 
when the Noveschi returned. He was a man of little 
culture or education. At first he played the second part 
to his brother Giacoppo, but it was in the general alarm 
and confusion that accompanied the arrival in Italy of 
Charles VIII. of France that he found his opportunity. 
A force of 300 mercenaries, prowisionati, was brought 
to Siena in June 1494, to guard the city and maintain 
order, and Pandolfo was placed in command. This is 
evidently what Machiavelli meant. In October, Filippo 
Valori, one of the Florentine ambassadors to the King, 
wrote to Piero de* Medici that His Majesty had been 
informed that the said Pandolfo was a daring and most 
dangerous person, persona ammosa e scandalosa da precipi- 
tare. Nevertheless, when Niccolo Borghesi was sent 
from the Balia to greet the King at Pisa, he was graci- 
ously received and returned with a letter making Pandolfo 
and Paolo Salvetti knights for the royal service. 
Charles entered Siena on December 2nd, with his body- 
guard of 300 archers, 200 men-at-arms, and 100 mounted 
crossbowmen, " right graciously so that it seemed he 
were at home," writes Allegretto though his soldiery, 
especially the Swiss, committed numberless excesses in 
the contado. He marched onwards on the 4th, and 
there was much passing to and fro through Siena of 
soldiers and ambassadors in those months, stormy and 
disastrous for Italy, that followed. In the general dis- 
solution of the Florentine dominion, Montepulciano rose 
in insurrection and declared that she would live and die 
with Siena. Even the women and children shouted 
" Lupa ! Lupa ! " The Sienese promptly dispatched 
Antonio Bichi as commissary with troops to the spot. 
The French King sent letters bidding both cities let 
Montepulciano alone, for he would judge the matter. 
F 81 

The Story of Siena 

The growing feeling of the Popolani and especially the 
Riformatori against the presence of the mercenaries 
the outward sign of the prepotency of the Nove came 
to a head, and, on the approach of the French army on its 
return march through Tuscany, the French ambassador 
forced the Balla and Pandolfo to send them away. The 
King stayed a few days in Siena in June 1495, interviewed 
representatives of all factions, took the Republic under his 
perpetual protection, " saving the rights of the Empire," 
and made a number of knights, including the infant son of 
Pandolfo. He left a captain with a French garrison 
behind him. Next month the Riformatori and Popolani 
rose, headed by Giovanni Severini and Giacomo Buonin- 
segni, drove Pietro Borghesi out of Siena, fought Niccolo 
Borghesi and Pandolfo Petrucci with their followers in 
the Campo. But on July 28th, before daybreak, Luzio 
Bellanti and Pietro Borghesi with all the dismissed mer- 
cenaries and the soldiers from Montepulciano burst into 
Siena by the Porta Tufi, drove an armed mob of Popolani 
and Riformatori in headlong flight down the Via di Citta, 
occupied the Campo and all the strong places of the city. 
The Dodicini and the Gentiluomini made common cause 
with them, but the intervention of the French captain 
and Messer Andrea Piccolomini prevented a pitched 
battle in the Campo or a massacre in the streets. Pandolfo 
and others made a pretence of retiring to Buonconvento, 
but were recalled next day, and the French captain with 
his garrison was peaceably and honourably sent about his 

The events of the next few years confirmed the power 
of Pandolfo. In revenge for the affair of Montepulciano 
and for the assistance that the Balia had given to Piero 
de* Medici, a Florentine army led by Piero Capponi 
approached Siena in January 1496, and even penetrated 
so far as the Palazzo de' Diavoli. With them were 
Lodovico Luti and a number of other Sienese exiles. 

The People and the Petrucci 

They were in secret understanding with the disaffected 
within the walls, who hoped to introduce them together 
with enough Florentine soldiers to change the govern- 
ment. But the Florentines were in stronger force than 
had been anticipated, and the conspirators shrank from 
betraying their country. "The city of Siena," writes 
Machiavelli in the second book of the Discorsi, "has 
never changed state with the favour of the Florentines, 
save when these favours have been small and few. For 
when they have been many and strenuous, they have 
merely united that city for the defence of the existing 
government." And so it happened now. " We were 
all disposed," said Allegretto, *' to defend ourselves from 
our most cordial enemies the Florentines. We wanted 
our exiled fellow citizens back, but in another way." 
The Florentines retreated. Luzio Bellanti had deserved 
as much as Pandolfo from the Monte de* Nove, but he 
now found himself ousted from the command of the 
prowisionati. Possibly he had been in the plot with 
the Florentines ; at least he now plotted to admit them 
and the fuoruscitt and to murder the two Petrucci, Neri 
Placidi, Antonio Bichi, Niccolo Borghesi and others 
of their faction. A peculiar feature of the conspiracy 
was that one of Luzio's agents pretended to have visions 
of the Madonna who, he said, wished the Sienese to go 
in solemn procession to a church beyond the Porta Tufi 
the idea being to leave the way clear for the entry of 
the exiles. The plot was discovered, and Luzio Bellanti 
in September fled with a price upon his head. 

Pandolfo Petrucci was now practically without a rival, 
and, in all but the name, tyrant of Siena. Pandolfo 
Petrucci, wrote the Venetian diarist Sanudo, al presente 
in Siena e il tutto. In the following year, 1497, the Balia 
largely increased the number of the mercenaries, who were 
still under his command, and the death of his brother 
Giacoppo left him alone at the head of his own family. 


The Story of Siena 

In theory the Balk was still equally divided between the 
three Monti ; but it was entirely controlled by the 
Noveschi, and a number of hostile families were " ad- 
monished " and for ever excluded. The Balia of forty- 
five fifteen from each Monte that was elected in 
November in this year, for five years, by successive 
reappointments continued in power till 1516, and in it 
Pandolfo sat to the end of his life. His strong person- 
ality, coupled with his lavishness and backed by the 
mercenaries, secured the compliance of the high and 
dazzled the low. While not openly interfering with the 
republican forms of government, and merely taking the 
comparatively humble title of " magnifico," which every 
petty noble used in the aristocratic circles of Ferrara or 
Mantua, he kept in his own hands the whole thread of 
Sienese policy. Allied to France and never openly 
breaking with Florence, he plotted with Duke Lodovico 
Sforza of Milan until the latter' s fall, kept in touch with 
the exiled Medici, and maintained intimate relations with 
the petty tyrants of Umbria and the Patrimony. His 
chosen confidant was a Neopolitan of humble birth, who 
had once held a chair at the University of Siena, a 
certain Antonio da Venafro, exalted by Machiavelli as 
the typical secretary of a tyrant, " a serviceable villain " 
in the Shakespearian sense, who stuck at no crime for his 
patron's sake nor hesitated to whisper bloodier suggestions 
into his ear. 

Much use did Pandolfo make of secret assassinations. 
The exiled Lodovico Luti was murdered by his emis- 
saries in 1499. Luzio Bellanti, earning a precarious 
living as a man of letters in Florence, lived in constant 
apprehension. " The liberty of my country," he says at 
the end of a book on astrology which he published in 
1498, "is ever in my mind. Even whilst I write, a 
messenger breaks in to warn me that assassins are at hand 
to slay me; everywhere I find snares prepared, so that 

The People and the Petrucci 

my friends may call me Damocles or Dionysius. And 
although I am by now become callous, nevertheless the 
pen drops from my wearied hand." A little later his 
apprehensions were verified; but in the meanwhile 
Leonardo Bellanti (Luzio's brother) and Niccolo 
Borghesi (Pandolfo's father-in-law) showed signs of 
resenting the Petruccian supremacy, and Antonio da 
Venafro urged his master to make away with Niccolo, 
who was dreaming republican dreams. An alleged con- 
spiracy against Pandolfo's own life was the pretext but, 
some months before this, he had communicated to 
Lodovico Sforza, through his serviceable secretary, his 
intention of freeing himself from the Bellanti and the 
Borghesi. In June 1 500, Niccolo Borghesi was set upon 
by six armed men in Pandolfo's pay, as he was returning 
from Mass at the Duomo, and mortally wounded. He 
lingered on for a few weeks, spending what of life 
remained to him in finishing his life of St Catherine, in 
dictating a Latin epigram commending Siena to her 
protection. Then he died, freely forgiving Pandolfo for 
his death. On July 2Oth he was buried in the vault? 
of San Domenico. 

Pandolfo professed the most sincere repentance, and 
sent a Franciscan friar to the murdered man's son, 
Bernardino, to propose a conference at the convent of 
the Osservanza. Leonardo Bellanti, who had fled from 
Siena at the news of Niccolo's death, wrote a vigorous 
letter to Bernardino urging him not to go. "The 
ground still runs with the blood of thy excellent father, 
the father of our common country," he said ; " I know 
not how thou canst even think of having to speak to him 
who with his own hands nay, much more than with his 
own hands so deliberately and abominably, with such 
cruelty, hath killed thy father, and but yesterday. Alas ! 
Art thou not a rational man ? Hast no spirit ? Hast 
not blood ? Hast no heart or stomach ? For, certes, 


The Story of Siena 

the vilest of men would not listen to his messengers, 
much less speak to this man who is devoid of any faith 
or love, but most abounding in good words and tears." l 
Nevertheless the Borghesi were reconciled to Pandolfo, 
and Leonardo himself soon returned to the city. 

A new danger now threatened Siena and Pandolfo 
alike. Cesare Borgia, with the aid of his father, Pope 
Alexander VI., was building up a great state for himself 
in central Italy. He had conquered the Romagna, 
added Piombino to his dominions in September 1501, 
and was casting eyes upon Siena. In the spring of 1 502 
the Pope invited Pandolfo to meet him at Piombino ; 
but the Magnifico, pleading excuses and delays, did not 
go. In August Pandolfo purchased the protection of 
King Louis XII. of France, with the moneys of the 
Republic. He sent ambassadors to congratulate Cesare 
on his conquests, but plotted against him with the petty 
tyrants who led his mercenaries and began to suspect 
that their own turns were coming. In the autumn 
took place the famous meeting of the conspirators at La 
Magione, to ally against Cesare " for the salvation of 
all, and not to be, one by one, devoured by the dragon, " 
as their leading spirit, Giampaolo Baglioni of Perugia, 
put it. Pandolfo was represented by Antonio da 
Venafro and Guido Pecci, and hoped for Piombino as 
his share of the spoils. At the same time he tried to 
treat with the Borgia, using Antonio da Venafro as a 
go-between. "This man," said Cesare to Machiavelli 
(who was with him as ambassador of Florence), "sends 
me every day either letters or special envoys to make me 
understand his great friendship towards me, but I know 
him." It is needless to repeat the tale here of how 
Cesare when his forces were temporarily defeated at 
Fossombrone waited until the time was ripe, and then 

1 Letter of August i8th, 1500, published by F. Donati in 
Miscellanea Storica Senete, i. 7. 


The People and the Petnicci 

crushed the wretched conspirators at the famous trad't- 
mento of Sinigaglia. Pandolfo had kept out of the trap. 
Perugia surrendered on January 6th, 1503; Giampaolo 
Baglioni fled with his followers to join his Sienese ally. 
Siena now " felt the Hydra's fiery breath." " This 
Signore," wrote Machiavelli of Cesare to the Signoria 
of Florence from Gualdo on January 6th, " is leaving 
here to-morrow with his army and is going to Assisi, 
and thence he will advance upon Siena to make of that 
city a state to his own liking." At Assisi the Sienese 
ambassadors met him. Cesare assured them that he had 
no quarrel with the Republic, but was at war only with 
his intmico capitate, Pandolfo. Let them send him away 
and there would be peace. Otherwise he would come 
with his army, " impelled by necessity and by a reasonable 
indignation against the man who, not content with tyran- 
nising over one of the first cities of Italy, wished also by 
ruining others to be able to impose laws upon all his 
neighbours.' ' Machiavelli thought Pandolfo's position 
fairly strong, seeing that he was "a man of much 
prudence in a state held by him with great reputation, 
and without having external or internal enemies of real 
importance, since he has either killed them or reconciled 
them, and with a large force of good troops, if Giampaolo 
has taken refuge with him, as they say, and not without 
money." The Balia sent to assure the Duke that he 
was mistaken about Pandolfo, who was no tyrant but 
had always conducted himself as " a most modest 
citizen," and to remind him that Siena was under the 
protection of France. " The master of the shop, who 
is the King of France," quoth Cesare with pleasing 
frankness to Machiavelli, " would not be content that I 
should take Siena for myself, nor am I so daring that I 
should think of such a thing. That community should 
trust me ; I want nothing of theirs, but only to drive 
away Pandolfo. And I would have thy Government 


The Story of Siena 

bear witness to and publish this intention of mine, 
which is only to assure myself of this tyrant. I believe 
that that community of Siena will believe me ; but 
in case it should not, I shall march on and plant my 
artillery at the gates." Pandolfo, he said, had been the 
cervc&Oj the brain of the whole conspiracy against him. 
He confidently appealed to the Florentines for help in 
the business, " for as long as Pandolfo is in Siena, it will 
always be a refuge and a support for all your enemies." * 
The Sienese prepared for defence, while messenger 
after messenger was sent to stay the Borgia's advance. 
At first all orders seemed united to defend Pandolfo, 
" with such love and charity," wrote the Balia, " as has 
never been shown in any other occurrence in this city." 
The mob shouted lustily for *' Lupa, Liberia e Pandolfo." 
But Cesare came nearer and nearer, sending an ulti- 
matum before him, bidding the Sienese expel Pandolfo, 
dismiss Giampaolo Baglioni and his men, and surrender 
their artillery. Then the hearts of the Sienese began to 
sink; there were countrymen of theirs in the hostile 
camp, and Leonardo Bellanti was vigorously fanning the 
flames among the citizens. Pandolfo sent his children 
to a place of safety. At length, on January 24th, the 
Balia, in Pandolfo's presence, decreed his exile, and 
appointed six citizens to come to an agreement with 
Cesare. But already the people had risen in tumult at 
the sight of the two Borgian envoys and the rumoured 
approach of his cavalry, and Pandolfo still lingered. 
Then there came another letter from Cesare from 
Pienza : " We swear to God that if, in whatever hour 
you shall receive these presents, you shall not have 
already expelled, or shall not immediately without further 
delay expel the said Pandolfo, we shall reckon every one 

1 Letters of January 6th, 8th, loth, and 1 3th from Machiavelli 
to the Signoria. In the Legaxione al Duca Valentino (vol. vi. of 
edition cited). 

The People and the Petrucct 

of you in the place of Pandolfo. And without any 
intermission we shall move to the total extermination of 
all your towns, subjects, and goods, and of your city and 
of your own persons. Since you choose to be our 
enemies, you shall remain beaten down and crushed in 
such wise that never again shall you be able to offend 
us." 1 This settled it. On the evening of January 28th, 
Pandolfo and Giampaolo took a solemn farewell of the 
government and left Siena. As the Magnifico rode 
from the Palazzo his adherents crowded round him, 
weeping and profuse in their anticipations of his speedy 
return. But a woman shrieked at him from a window : 
" Crucify him ! crucify the traitor ! " It was the 
mother of a certain Ildebrando Cerretani, who had been 
secretly murdered at Pandolfo's bidding. He made his 
way in disguise to Lucca, closely pursued by a band of 
Borgia's light-armed cavalry, who (in spite of Cesare's 
safe conduct to Pandolfo) had orders to cut both him and 
Giampaolo to pieces. 

In the meanwhile Leonardo Bellanti, Andrea Pic- 
colomini, Lorenzo Beccafumi, and three other delegates 
were making terms for Siena with Cesare. But the Pope 
called the Duke back to suppress the rising of the Roman 
barons, and the intervention of the King of France pro- 
tected Siena from further molestation. To the demands 
of the King addressed to the Balia for the recall of 
Pandolfo, an evasive answer was returned, and the Pope 
was assured that the Sienese did not want him back. 
Pandolfo, however, had gained over the Florentines by 
undertaking to restore Montepulciano, and he suddenly 
appeared with armed men at Poggibonsi. On March 
29th, the Balia decreed his recall and restitution into the 

1 In Lisini, Relazioni tra Cesare Borgia e la Repubblica Sentse, 
and elsewhere. It is dated January 27th, and had probably 
been delivered (though this has been questioned) before Pan- 
dolfo left. 

8 9 

The Story of Siena 

Collegio ; but they implored him not to bring Giampaolo 
Baglioni with him, and to be content with a modest 
return with a small company, so that he could "enjoy 
his sweet native land in peace with the others, as is the 
common desire of all the citizens." Nevertheless, on 
the same day, Pandolfo entered Siena in triumph accom- 
panied by the French ambassadors, with Giampaolo 
Baglioni and his cavalry, and the condottiere Pochintesta 
da Bagnacavallo with a large force of infantry. " And 
so," he wrote to the Florentines, " by the gift of God, 
accompanied by the orators of the Most Christian King, 
and with a great multitude of the citizens and Sienese 
nobles, peacefully and without tumult or any disturbance, 
have I entered my sweet native land." l 

Alexander VI. died in the following August, and was 
succeeded by the Cardinal Francesco Piccolomini, who 
took the title of Pius III. in the memory of his uncle. 
Andrea Piccolomini had left Siena on Pandolfo's return, 
and the new Pope was probably not well disposed to the 
re-establishment of this despotism in his native city. But 
his pontificate only lasted twenty-six days he was broken 
down already with age and ill-health ; and Pandolfo 
managed to establish friendly relations with his successor, 
Julius II. Like his uncle, Pius III. has left his mark 
upon Siena, and we shall return to him in the Duomo. 

Henceforth Pandolfo was practically undisputed lord 
of Siena and her dominion, though he never succeeded 
in getting the longed-for imperial investiture. The 
citizens appear to have acquiesced in his supremacy. 
The Balia was in his hands ; he disposed of the moneys 
of the State, and appears to have been allowed to sell 
certain magistracies and offices to his own profit. Am- 
bassadors were sent to him and not to the Republic, and 
business was transacted by the " Magnificent Pandolfo 
Petrucci, Sienese Patrician, in the stead and in the name 

1 In Mondolfo, Pandolfo Petrucci, p. 99. 

The People and the Petrucci 

of the Magnificent Commune of Siena." He meddled in 
all the political intrigues of the early Cinquecento, with 
a considerable amount of success. " In the midst of the 
new complications which now arose," writes Professor 
Villari, " he shaped his course with the greatest wariness, 
and whilst he made a show of friendship towards 
Florence, from which he could certainly receive much 
damage, he strove also to draw near to her enemies, 
seeing that the bad fortune of France was augmenting 
their power and ever rendering the friends of Spain more 
potent." 1 He secretly assisted Pisa against Florence in 
1505, when Bartolommeo Alviano assailed the territory 
of the latter Republic, and this was the occasion of the 
second legation of Machiavelli to Siena in the July of 
that year. 2 Machiavelli found Pandolfo a hard problem : 
" I can hardly judge," he wrote to the Signoria, 
" whether he should be believed or not, because here I 
have seen no sign whereby I can make a better conjec- 
ture than can your Lordships." And he talked all day 
with Antonio da Venafro, without getting anything out 
of him. 

There was a last conspiracy against Pandolfo's life in 
1508. He had promised his daughter Sulpizia to Giulio, 
one of the sons of Leonardo Bellanti, but married her to 
Sigismondo Chigi instead. Induced by this slight and 
the desire of avenging Luzio, Leonardo and his sons with 
a force of armed men lay in wait for Pandolfo, on his 
way to visit their own kinsman, Petrino Bellanti, who 
lay sick. A boy that they had set to watch gave the 
alarm too soon, and the Magnifico escaped. The 
Bellanti at once fled through the Porta Camellia to 
Florence. They were summoned to appear before the 
Balla within three days, declared rebels, and their goods 

1 Niccolo Machiavelli t i suoi Tempi, i. pp. 502, 503. 

8 The letters of this Legation in vol. vii. of edition cited. 


The Story of Siena 

Pandolfo had now assumed the pomp and state of a 
petty prince. He walked through the streets and squares 
followed by a cortege of Noveschi and Gentiluomini, 
while his splendid new palace near the Duomo seemed 
destined to play the part in the story of Siena that the 
Palazzo Riccardi was doing in that of Florence. He 
made and unmade marriages at his pleasure. He separated 
Mariana Vignoli from her husband, and shut her up in a 
convent, while he compelled Vittoria Piccolomini, the 
daughter of the late Andrea, to become the wife of his 
own son Borghese. The sumptuary laws of Siena touch- 
ing the jewels and dresses of ladies were abrogated in 
favour of the women of his family, 1 who are said to have 
taken full advantage of this dispensation. He obtained 
possession for himself of various castles and palaces in the 
contado, while by humouring the nobles, giving the public 
funds and offices to his friends, finding work for artisans 
and food for the poor, he contrived to keep all classes 
more or less content. " How does the Magnifico rule 
the Sienese ? " asked one of the Popes of Antonio da 
Venafro. "With lies, Holy Father," answered the 
astute secretary. But Luzio Bellanti and Niccolo 
Borghesi were not alone in declining to give credit to 
these bugle, and Pandolfo is said to have murdered some 
sixty persons in the course of his reign. The more in- 
significant of these were thrown into oubliettes or disused 
burial vaults, and left there to starve. 

In 1511, Pope Julius created Pandolfo's second son 
Alfonso a Cardinal. In the same year peace was finally 
made with Florence, and a confederation established 
between the two Republics, Montepulciano being restored 
and the prepotency of the Petrucci assured. The star 

1 By a decree of the Balia on September i/j-th, 1 509 ; but this 
was not quite such a recognition of his dynasty as might appear, 
because a similar exception was made in 1518 (though only in 
their own homes) for some of the Piccolomini. 
9 2 

The People and the Petrucci 

of France being on the wane in Italy, Pandolfo was 
now looking to Spain. His last political act was to 
intervene for harmony between the Pope and Florence. 
Gradually he was losing hold of things, absorbed in a 
vulgar, senile passion for a certain Caterina, whom the 
Sienese called " the two-handed sword," the young 
wife of an artisan in the Via di Salicotto. In February 
1512, he obtained from the Balia that his son Borghese 
should take his place in the Collegio, and in all other 
magistracies in his absence. On May 2ist he died 
at San Quirico. All the shops were closed when his 
body was brought to the city ; there was a state funeral 
in the Duomo, after which it was carried in procession 
to San Francesco, and thence quietly conveyed by the 
friars to the Osservanza. Machiavelli, who came with 
the condolences of the Republic of Florence, ranks 
Pandolfo in the second class of despots. He was 
undoubtedly not among the worst tyrants of the epoch. 
Especially after his return from his brief exile, his rule 
was beneficial to Siena, in that he secured for the State 
a comparatively long period of respite from internal 
factions and of external peace. 

Pandolfo, writes an anonymous chronicler, at his 
death left Borghese his son with the same authority, 
but not with the same prudence. The machinations 
of Antonio da Venafro secured his peaceful accession 
to his father's dignities, and an increased force of 
mercenaries was hired under the command of Orazio 
Baglioni Borghese's prospective brother-in-law. But 
the young man was utterly without his father's abilities, 
luxurious and dissolute, as well as^ cowardly and 
arrogant. So superstitious was he that, at the advice of 
a Jew astrologer, he always wore a bracelet with 
certain mysterious signs that should infallibly protect 
him from all possible enemies. For some time he tried 
the Medicean policy of dazzling the populace with 


7 'he Story of Siena 

festivities and spectacular displays, while the Cardinal 
Alfonso amassed riches at Rome, and plunged into the 
intrigues at the court of Leo X., which the papal 
executioners cut short a few years later. While the 
brutalities of Borghese's favourite, the condottiere 
Pochintesta, disgusted and exasperated the Sienese, 
there was another Petrucci Raffaello di Giacoppo, 
Bishop of Grosseto and governor of the Castle of Sant' 
Angelo high in favour with the Pope and biding his 
time, in touch with the Bellanti, Petroni, Tancredi, 
and other families that hated Borghese. In December 
1515, Borghese dismissed Antonio da Venafro. " I 
go, Magnificence," said the old secretary, "but only 
to take rooms for you." In the following March, with 
aid from Pope Leo X. and Florence, Raffaello Petrucci 
appeared in Sienese territory at the head of a force of 
mercenaries, accompanied by Leonardo Bellanti and 
other exiles, and Borghese with his young brother Fabio 
ignominiously fled from the city, leaving his wife and 
little daughters behind him. 

Raffaello Petrucci entered Siena in triumph through 
the Porta Romana on March loth, 1516, harangued the 
Signoria his words being few and inelegant, says Pecci, 
because he was ignorant and more disposed to arms than 
to letters and was then conveyed in state to his father's 
palace, which occupied the site of the present Palazzo 
Reale. The creation of the new Balla was put into his 
hands, the exiles were restored to their honours, Borghese 
and Fabio declared rebels. A league but with reserva- 
tion of the imperial rights over the city of Siena and its 
state was conc]uded with the younger Lorenzo de 7 
Medici and the Pope, who was desirous, says Guicciardini, 
" that that city, being placed between the States of the 
Church and of the Florentines, should be governed by a 
man in his confidence, and perchance all the more 
because he hoped, when the opportunity of times should 



The People and the Petrucci 

be propitious, to be able, by the consent of the Bishop 
himself, to subject it either to his brother or his nephew." 
In the following year the Cardinal Alfonso Petrucci 
plotted against the Pope's life in Rome, was degraded 
from the Cardinalate, and strangled in prison. One of 
his accomplices was the condottiere Pochintesta who, 
when examined, accused the Bellanti of similarly 
intending to murder the Bishop RafFaello at Siena. 
Raffaello summoned Giulio and Guidone Bellanti to 
his presence ; the first was butchered by Francesco di 
Camillo Petrucci in the street outside, the second cut to 
pieces in the palace before RafFaello's eyes, while he 
knelt and begged for mercy. Leonardo Bellanti, their 
old father, was sent to a fortress in the Maremma and 
there beheaded. Shortly afterwards, RafFaello was 
raised to the Cardinalate. 

In spite of his personal immorality and cruelty, the 
tyranny of the Cardinal RafFaello does not seem to have 
been utterly bad. He governed with a firm hand, keep- 
ing Siena in peace and comparative prosperity for six 
years. During his absence at the conclave after the 
death of Leo X., the exiles and anti-Mediceans prevailed 
upon the Duke of Urbino in January, 1522, to invade the 
Sienese contado in favour of Lattanzio Petrucci, also an 
ecclesiastic and a cousin of Borghese ; but with no result. 
And in March, after his return, another unsuccessful 
attempt led by Renzo da Ceri, backed by France and 
secretly favoured by a party in Siena itself, was made to 
overthrow his regime. The Cardinal died suddenly in 
his villa on December iyth, 1522, in such a tempest 
"that it seemed the mouth of Hell were opened." 
When his body was brought to Siena to be buried in 
San Domenico, a howling mob assailed the funeral pro- 
cession, hurling stones and hooting, shouting that the dead 
man should be thrown out into the place where the carrion 
was cast. The friars all fled, leaving the bier alone in 
G 97 

The Story of Siena 

the midst of the police, who with difficulty got it safe into 
the church. RafTaello left one illegitimate son, Eustacchio, 
who held the command of the mercenaries in the Campo. 
Francesco di Camillo Petrucci, the son of a younger 
brother of Pandolfo, who had been at the head of the 
government during the Cardinal's absence, now seized 
the chief power ; while part of the citizens looked to the 
imperial agents in Rome for the restoration of their 
liberties, and another part desired the recall of Pandolfo's 
youngest son Fabio Borghese having gone mad at 
Naples. Francesco's tyrannical behaviour and his murder 
of Marcello Saracini disgusted all classes. Pope Clement 
VII., who intended to marry Fabio Petrucci with the 
daughter of Galeotto de' Medici, summoned Francesco 
to Rome and kept him there, while Fabio, in December 
1523, entered Siena. Fabio was a youth of eighteen 
years of age, excessively handsome and winning in 
manners, most incompetent and more dissolute than even 
Borghese had been. The Sienese stood his mercenaries 
and his unsavoury amours for about nine months. On 
September i8th, 1524, there was a general rising against 
him, headed by Giovanni Martinozzi, Mario Bandini 
and Giovanni Battista Piccolomini. Fabio's mercenaries 
occupied the Palazzo, while his few remaining friends 
assembled in the house of Alessandro Bichi. There 
was prolonged fighting in the Campo, in the Piazza 
Tolomei, at the Croce del Travaglio, the adherents of 
Fabio raising the Florentine shout of " Marzocco " only 
to be drowned by the swelling thunder of " Popolo e 
Liberta ! " Had Fabio held his ground for a couple of 
days more, aid would have been forthcoming from the 
Florentines and the Pope ; but his heart failed him and, 
rejecting the compromise which the leaders of the revolu- 
tion offered him, he fled at nightfall through the Porta 
Tufi and escaped to Florence. Thus ignominiously 
ended the tyranny of the Petrucci in Siena. 

The Sculptors ana Painters of Siena 

\A7 E may conveniently begin the story of Sienese art with 
* * the coming of Niccolo Pisano to Siena in 1 266, 
the year after Dante's birth, for the work of the great 
marble pulpit of the Duomo. Niccolo's son, Giovanni, 
became a citizen of Siena, and was chief architect of the 
Duomo during the two closing decades of the century. 
Stimulated by their presence and example, there rose an 
independent school of Sienese sculptors, which flourished 
from the end of the thirteenth to the middle of the four- 
teenth century a school which chronologically succeeds 
to that founded by Niccolo Pisano, and anticipates the 
rise of the Florentine school under Andrea Pisano's 
influence. These Sienese sculptors were mainly em- 
ployed upon the Cathedrals of Siena and of Orvieto, 
and in making tombs in other cities of Italy, sepulchral 
monuments in which, writes M. Reymond, "the Sienese 
school reveals a very special and new character, which is 
the subordination of the religious idea to the civil idea." 1 
Tino di Camaino, who sculptured the famous tomb of 
Henry VII. at Pisa and worked for the royal Angevins 
of Naples ; the architects, Agostino di Giovanni and 
Agnolo di Ventura ; Cellino di Nese, who made the 
tomb of the poet Cino at Pistoia ; Gano da Siena and 
Ramo di Paganello ; Lorenzo Maitani, whose fame is 
for ever linked to the glorious Duomo of Orvieto ; these 

1 La Sculpture Florentine^ i. p. 1 34. 


The Story of Siena 

are the masters of chief repute in this early Sienese 

All these belong to that bright epoch in the story of 
Siena previous to the great pestilence of 1348. Then 
there came a sad decline, as the statues of the Apostles 
in the chapel of the Campo, executed between 1376 and 
1384, show only too clearly. But, just at the time that 
St Catherine was beginning her public life, Siena be- 
came the mother of one of the greatest sculptors of the 

Giacomo della Quercia was the son of a goldsmith 
named Pietro di Agnolo, a citizen of Siena, and was 
born in Siena or its contado in 1371 or 1374. His first 
artistic studies were made in Siena itself where, there 
being then no great native sculptors, he drank inspiration 
almost solely from the great pulpit of the Duomo. This, 
perhaps, is what makes him so isolated a figure in the 
art of the Quattrocento ; the heir of Niccolo Pisano, the 
forerunner of Michelangelo. He left Siena when it 
fell into the hands of the Duke of Milan, and went to 
Florence, where he was chiefly impressed by the work 
of Giotto and Andrea Pisano. In 1401 he entered the 
competition for the second bronze gates of the Baptistery, 
and came next to Ghiberti and Brunelleschi ; his figures, 
says Vasari, were considered good, but lacking in refine- 
ment, non ave-vanojinezze. A few years later, at Lucca, 
he carved that tomb of Ilaria del Carretto, made famous 
in our own days by the eloquent enthusiasm of Ruskin. 
His native city now began to recognise his genius. In 
1409 he was commissioned to make the famous fountain 
of the Piazzo del Campo, upon which he worked at 
intervals between 1412 and 1419 going off to do other 
work at Lucca, and forced by the Signoria to return 
under heavy financial penalties. In 1416 he was com- 
missioned by the Operaio, or superintendent of the artistic 
work of the Duomo, to design the Font for the Baptistery, 

The Sculptors and Painters of Siena 

and in the following year to cast two bronze scenes, stone, 
for the same. But here again he undertook things else- 
where in Bologna, this time and the Signoria had to 
compel him to finish what he had begun, which he did 
in 1434. In the meanwhile, he had accomplished his 
supreme work at Bologna in the bas-reliefs on the pilasters 
of the door of San Petronio those marvellous scenes 
from the Book of Genesis, in which he seems to antici- 
pate the achievement of Michelangelo in the Cappella 
Sistina. Giacomo died at Siena in 1438. His style is 
grand and austere, full of force and vigour, with a kind 
of rugged greatness that contrasts curiously with the 
manner of contemporary Sienese painters ; he dispenses 
with accessories, concentrating the interest upon the 
human figures in his stories. There is peculiar nobility 
and power in his treatment of the nude. " Sooth to say, 
Giacomo had only one pupil, and for him there was a 
century to wait ; he was Michelangelo." 1 

No other Sienese sculptor of the Quattrocento ap- 
proaches Giacomo's solitary greatness. Pietro delMinella 
(1391-1458) was his favourite pupil and assistant, but 
caught little of his spirit. The two Turini Turino di 
Sano and his son Giovanni ( i 384-1455) were associated 
with him on the work for the Baptistery, and acquitted 
themselves creditably, even by the side of Donatello 
and Ghiberti. Then come two men of greater mark : 
Antonio Federighi (died about 1480), and Lorenzo 
di Pietro (1412-1480), called II Vecchietta. The 
former, who is said to have been connected with the 
Tolomei, was also an architect, as the "grandiose 
simplicity" of the Loggia that he built for Pius II. 
shows ; as a sculptor, he is perhaps the most classical 
of the Sienese masters of the Quattrocento, following 
not unworthily in the steps of both Giacomo della 
Quercia and Donatello. Vecchietta appears to have 
1 M. Reymond, op. cit., ii. p. 46. 


The Story of Siena 

been actually Giacomo's pupil ; his principal works are 
in bronze, somewhat hard and dry in style, with exces- 
sive attention to anatomical details. Giovanni di Stefano 
(died after 1498) and Urbano da Cortona (died 1504), 
by the latter of whom are some tolerable works in the 
Duomo and elsewhere, are conscientious scarpettini^ with 
no original genius. To Francesco di Giorgio Martini 
(1439-1502), the pupil of Vecchietta, are ascribed 
frequently on no adequate grounds a number of the 
chief buildings in Siena in the style of the earlier 
Renaissance ; as a military architect, he stands high 
among the craftsmen of his century, and was much 
employed by the Dukes of Urbino. Like his master 
Vecchietta, he was also a worker in bronze and a 
painter. Of his fellow-pupil Neroccio di Bartolommeo 
Landi (1447-1500), it will be best to speak among the 
painters ; his few extant works in sculpture have a 
peculiar combination of dignity and sweetness, which 
is at once impressive and winning. Giacomo Cozzarelli 
(1453-1515) was a pupil of Francesco di Giorgio; 
he designed the famous palace of Pandolfo Petrucci and 
made those wonderful torch-holders and other metal work 
for its exterior, which are only surpassed by Caparra's 
masterpieces in this kind on the palace of Filippo 
Strozzi at Florence. Lorenzo di Mariano, called II 
Marrina (died in 1534), is the last great sculptor of 
the Sienese Renaissance ; as a decorator in marble he 
has few if any equals, and his masterpiece in the 
oratory of Fontegiusta need not fear the comparison 
with the best Florentine work of the epoch. 

Nor should we pass from the sculptors without a word 
on the wood-carvers, who are among the minor artistic 
glories of Siena. Domenico di Niccolo (who died 
about 1450), called Del Coro from his work in the 
chapel of the Palazzo del Comune, Antonio Barili 
(died 1516), and Giovanni Barili (died 1529), pro- 


The Sculptors and Painters of Siena 

duced work in this kind which is hardly surpassed in any 
Italian city of the Renaissance. 

The Jesuit art - historian Lanzi characterised the 
Sienese school of painters as beta scuola Jra lieto popolo, 
"a blithe school among a blithe people," and added 
that their principal works were to be found in the 
churches of the city. Needless to say that the latter 
remark no longer holds, and we shall do best to begin 
our consideration of the painters in the well-arranged 
picture gallery of the Reale IsMuto Provinciale di Belle 

The first great epoch in Sienese painting, as in 
sculpture, is contemporaneous with the government of 
the Nine and ends with the outbreak of the pestilence 
of 1348. The moving spirit of this period, the true 
founder of the Sienese school, is Duccio di Buoninsegna. 
Recent researches have shown that he was born shortly 
before the battle of Montaperti, and that his artistic 
activity extends from 1278 to 1313. x It will be better 
to speak more fully of his work when we stand before 
his masterpiece in the Opera del Duomo, that picture 
which, in Ghiberti's words, " was made right ex- 
cellently and learnedly, and is a magnificent thing." 
Bringing the Byzantine manner to its utmost perfection 
for the purpose of religious illustration, Duccio gave 
imperishable form to what had been more or less 
traditional through the previous centuries of Christian 
art. He is to the Middle Ages what Raphael was to 
be to the Renaissance. Segna di Tura di Buoninsegna, 
who was working in the early years of the fourteenth 
century, was Duccio's pupil, perhaps his nephew ; he 

1 Duccio is last referred to as alive in a document of June, 
1313, and in 1318 his widow Taviana is described as uxor olim 
Duccii pictoris. See A. Lisini, Notizie di Duccio Pittore, p. 33. 
On Duccio's characteristics as a painter, the best thing is 
written by Mr Berenson, Central Italian Painterly pp. 18-42. 


The Story of Siena 

imitated the manner of his master, but somewhat in- 
effectually. Simone Martini, on the other hand, followed 
worthily in Duccio's footsteps ; with an exquisite sense 
of beauty and a love of splendid decorative effects in 
colour, he is perhaps the most typical master of "soft 
Siena,'* doing for her in line and colour what Folgore 
had done in rhyme. He died in 1344. With him as 
assistant worked his brother-in-law, Lippo Memmi ; 
" they were gentle masters," wrote Ghiberti, " and 
their pictures were done with the greatest diligence, 
right delicately finished." This epoch culminates in 
the two Lorenzetti Pietro and his younger brother 
Ambrogio both of whom appear to have been among 
the victims of the pestilence. Ambrogio especially, 
famoslss'tmo e singularissimo maestro, as Ghiberti calls 
him, nobilissimo comfonitore, is the greatest and most 
imaginative painter that Siena has produced. In the 
splendid allegorical frescoes with which he adorned the 
palace chamber of the Signori Nove and in his glowing 
altarpieces, in material beauty and spiritual significance, he 
reaches a height unattained by any other Italian painter 
of his century save only the mighty Florentine, Andrea 

In the Stanza Prima de't Primitivi we have first 
a number of pictures of the Pre-Duccian epoch. The 
altarpiece (i), partly in stucco in half relief and in 
the Byzantine style, is peculiarly interesting from its 
date, 1215, as showing us the state of art in Tuscany 
in the very year of the traditional outbreak of the Guelf 
and Ghibelline factions in Florence. The very curious 
paintings (4 and 5), belonging to the thirteenth century, 
may be taken as next-to-contemporary representations of 
the scenes from the lives of St Francis and St Clare 
and Blessed Andrea Gallerani which they include (be- 
sides St Bartholomew, St Catherine of Alexandria, and 
St Dominic) ; St Clare repulsing Manfred's Saracens 

AKttari, FJorence 

The Sculptors and Painters of Siena 

from her convent by the Sacred Host is unique in 
so early a picture. We may here mention that Andrea 
Gallerani, a frequently recurring figure in Sienese 
art, was a nobleman of Siena, who died in 1251. 
He had killed a man for blaspheming and was exiled, 
but afterwards returned and devoted himself to works 
of mercy and charity, founding the Spedale della 
Misericordia, which was later united to the great Spedale 
di Sta. Maria della Scala. Next comes a series of 
paintings in the Byzantine manner : two somewhat 
imposing altarpieces to the honour of the Baptist and 
the Prince of the Apostles respectively (14 and 15) ; 
smaller scenes (8 to 13), showing the sort of thing that 
Duccio glorified and perfected a little later. Duccio 
himself is represented by six authentic pictures ; an 
early work on a small scale (20), the Madonna and 
Child with Angels and Franciscan friars ; three Saints 
(22, 23); an important and characteristic picture of the 
Madonna and Child with St Peter and St Dominic, 
St Paul and St Augustine, Christ blessing from above 
and Angels bearing sceptres that end in threefold lilies 
in token of the Trinity (28) ; a triptych (35), in- 
cluding scenes from the lives of Christ and His Mother 
that anticipate in some sort the illustrative power of 
his masterpiece in the Opera del Duomo ; a large 
altarpiece in many divisions (47)* in which the Blessed 
Virgin is honoured under two of the titles assigned to 
her in the Litany of Loreto "Queen of Patriarchs," 
"Queen of Prophets." By Segna di Tura are several 
pictures of no great importance ; part of an altarpiece 
(40) ; a Madonna (44) ; St Ansanus (42) ; and St 
Galganus (43). It may be well to mention that St 
Ansanus, according to the legend, was the first Apostle 
of Siena, a Roman patrician who suffered in the persecu- 
tion of Diocletian ; St Galganus lived in the twelfth 
century, was guided by St Michael into the wilderness, 


The Story of Siena 

and when prevented by the devil from cutting wood to 
make a cross he struck his sword into the hard rock, 
which became soft as wax to receive it and then harder 
than adamant to retain it, and built a hermitage at the 
spot. He is usually pictured as here by Segna a 
young knight with flowing golden hair, the miraculous 
sword forming on the rocky desert place the sacred sign 
of Redemption. Simone Martini is not represented in 
the Gallery; but there is an altarpiece (51) ascribed to 
Lippo Memmi, and fairly characteristic of the religious 
art of fourteenth century Siena. A well-preserved picture 
in the following room (n), with St Michael as central 
figure, shows something of Lippo's manner, but is not 
a work of the master himself. 

In the second room there is a noble collection of 
paintings by the Lorenzetti. By the elder brother 
Pietro are : the Assumption of the Madonna (5), with 
the doubting Thomas receiving the sacred girdle; the 
Madonna and Child enthroned (21), with a lovely band 
of Angels clustering round the throne ; four small scenes 
from the history of the Order of the Carmelities (28, 
29), being apparently the remains of the predella of a 
famous picture that Pietro painted for the church of the 
Carmine in 1329. The younger Lorenzetti, Ambrogio, 
is represented by three masterpieces. The smallest of 
these (9) is a perfect gem of early Sienese art; the 
Madonna is enthroned with both her arms folded round 
the Divine Child, who unfolds a scroll to the four Latin 
Doctors kneeling in adoration, each receiving His doctrine 
with a wonderful expression of rapt devotion, ecstasy and 
yearning but each in a totally different way ; the golden 
haired Virgin Martyrs, Catherine with her wheel, Dorothy 
with her flowers, are standing in attendance on the Queen, 
and there are six adoring Angels above. The large altar- 
piece (2) is a striking and imposing work ; the Madonna 
and Child are attended by the Magdalene and St Dorothy 
1 06 

The Sculptors and Painters of Siena 

and the two St Johns, while below is the Deposition 
from the Cross : the heads are full of beauty and expres- 
sion, and the Deposition shows Ambrogio's dramatic 
power. The Annunciation (33), dated the lyth of 
December 1344, appears to be Ambrogio's last extant 
work ; it was painted for the Palazzo del Comune and, 
in addition to the painter's name, is inscribed with those 
of the Camarlingo Don Francesco, monk of St Galganus 
the three Esecutori and the Scrittore or scribe. 1 High 
up on the wall above this picture are two half figures of 
saints (34, 36), damaged, but genuine Ambrogios. 
Ascribed to Pietro Lorenzetti is a curious allegory (37), 
apparently of the story of sin and the Atonement of the 

As in sculpture, so in painting, a decline set in after 
1348. In the latter part of the fourteenth century 
worked Giacomo di Mino del Pellicciaio, Lippo di 
Vanni, Bartolo di Maestro Fredi (who died in 1410), 
Barna or Berna, Luca di Tomm, Paolo di Giovanni, 
Andrea di Vanni. They are somewhat mediocre artists, 
far below the Lorenzetti, from whom they not unfre- 
quently borrow motives ; still, as religious illustrators, they 
follow to the best of their limited powers the greater 
men who had gone before. Andrea di Vanni is an ex- 
ceedingly interesting personality ; he was a man of mark 
in the counsels of the Riformatori, served the State as 
ambassador and in other capacities, and was a fervent 
disciple of St Catherine, who addressed several letters to 
him and whose portrait he painted. Barna can only be 
studied at San Gimignano, and the picture ascribed to 
Andrea di Vanni (59) is not one of his few authenticated 
works. But Bartolo di Maestro Fredi is represented in 
this Stanza II. by a whole series of paintings (42 to 49) ; 
by Luca di Tomm is a signed and dated picture of 
1367 (54), in which the central group of St Anne with 
1 i.e. The officials of the Gabella ; see Chapter IX. 


7 be Story of Siena 

a very sweet and girlish Madonna has great charm ; 
Paolo di Giovanni's Nativity of the Blessed Virgin (61 ), 
partly imitated from a picture by Pietro Lorenzetti, is 
bright and pleasant in colour and feeling ; by Giacomo 
di Mino is a triptych (90). This room contains also 
some good and characteristic works of the Florentine 
school of the Trecento ; a Madonna with the Magdalene 
and St Catherine of Alexandria and Angels (52), signed 
by Taddeo Gaddi ; the Death and Coronation of the 
Madonna (64, 70), by Spincllo Aretino. The con- 
necting link between this group of Sienese artists and the 
painters of the Quattrocento is found in Taddeo di 
Bartolo (1363-1422), the pupil of Bartolo di Fredi. 
With no striking originality nor any great power, Taddeo 
was a conscientious and meritorious painter, whose works 
show a deep religious feeling, and who exercised con- 
siderable influence upon the Sienese school of his day. 
Most of the greater painters of the succeeding epoch may 
be said to have proceeded, directly or indirectly, from his 
school. By Taddeo di Bartolo, besides a number of 
smaller pictures, there is in this room one large altar- 
piece in several divisions (76), signed and dated 1409, 
of which the central scene is the Annunciation with 
St Cosmas and St Damian, the patron saints of the 
medical profession. 

Sienese painting in the fifteenth century is distinguished 
by its mystical tone and its exceedingly conservative, not 
to say retrogressive, spirit. No preoccupation with 
scientific researches, no problems of movement or 
anatomy, disturbed the calm of the Sienese painters ; 
we meet with hardly any portraiture in their work, 
and even less mythology. These most turbulent of Italian 
people who, in De Commines* famous phrase, " are ever 
in division, and govern their commonwealth more fondly 
than any other town in Italy," chose that their painters 
should give them art that was exclusively the handmaid 
1 08 

The Sculptors and Painters of Siena 

of religion. While foreign sculptors, such as Donatello 
and Ghiberti, were welcomed and employed in Siena, 
foreign painters were practically excluded until the last 
two decades of the century. Great spiritual beauty in 
faces, accuracy of drawing within certain limits, with a 
profusion and a lavishness in the use of gold and the most 
brilliant colours (this the Sienese particularly demanded 
of their painters), characterise the school at this epoch. 
Their strength and their weakness alike are shown in 
that their most typical painter is styled the " Sienese Fra 
Angel ico," while there never was, at least to any good 
effect, a Sienese Masaccio. The chief painters whose 
work falls into this period are: Sano di Pietro (1406- 
1481), Domenico di Bartolo (whose few extant works 
are dated from 1433 to 1443), Giovanni di Paolo (died 
in 1482), the sculptor Lorenzo di Pietro, called II 
Vecchietta (1412-1480), Stefano di Giovanni called 
Sassetta (died in 1450). And then, following after 
these, a second group : Matteo di Giovanni, who was 
born about 1435 an< ^ died in 1495; Francesco di Giorgio 
Martini (1439-1502), Neroccio di Bartolommeo Landi 
(1447-1500), Benvenuto di Giovanni (1436-1518) 
these three the pupils of Lorenzo di Pietro. 

These painters and their contemporaries are represented 
in the four following rooms of the gallery. In Stanza III., 
a curious little panel by Domenico di Bartolo (19), with 
a devout inscription in honour of the Madonna, signed 
Dominicus and dated I433 contrasts strongly with the 
more typical Sienese works that surround it. The com- 
position, the types of Angels, the naked Child, all show 
ill-assimilated Florentine influences. The Child in its 
unidealised humanity is the first nude infant in Sienese 
art ; all Sano's babes, for instance, are more or less 
clothed, already dreaming divine dreams. Domenico 
was a native of Asciano who came to Siena, and is said 
to have become the pupil of Taddeo di Bartolo ; all his 


The Story of Siena 

work, however, is a kind of protest against the mystical 
Sienese tradition in painting. Certain great frescoes of 
his, which we shall see later in the Spedale, stand alone 
in the story of the art of Siena. Then follow some small 
pictures by Sassetta (21 to 24), fairly representative. 
Giovanni di Paolo a prolific and always agreeable, if 
somewhat monotonous and weak painter is more fully 
represented here, in a series of Madonnas and Saints, 
scriptural scenes and mediaeval legends. Two of his 
pictures (28 and 55) are signed and dated 1453 and 
1440 respectively. His Last Judgment (27), the pre- 
della of a picture painted for San Domenico in 1445, is 
particularly interesting ; much of it is the usual tradition, 
but the Paradise on our left is full of most poetical and 
fanciful details, slightly reminding us of Angelico's work 
in the Florentine Academy, but conceived in a curiously 
different spirit. The scenes from the life of St Galganus 
(53) are a favourable example of his ingenuous narrative 
power. When II Vecchietta turns from sculpture to 
painting, he lays aside his science and follows the Sienese 
tradition with the rest. His San Bernardino (63) has 
considerable interest, being to all intents and purposes a 
contemporary portrait. A large altarpiece, badly pre- 
served (67), is one of the works that he painted as an 
offering for the church of the Spedale, and is signed : 
"The work of Laurentius Petri, sculptor, alias El 
Vecchietta, for his devotion." The shrine, painted on 
both sides with figures of Andrea Gallerani and other 
Sienese saints, comes from the same place. We may 
notice the Madonna and Child with St Francis and 
St Dominic (66), by Pier Francesco Fiorentino, a 
Florentine priest who painted in the latter part of the 
fifteenth century, and who shows himself as reactionary 
as any master of Siena ; his works abound at San 
Gimignano and throughout the Val d'EIsa. Mr Beren- 
son ascribes to him the four little trionfi at the other end 

The Sculptors and Painters of Siena 

of the present room the Triumphs of Death, Chastity, 
Love and Fame (4 to 7), partly after Petrarch which 
were at one time erroneously attributed to Andrea di 

The next two rooms, Stanza IV. and Stanza V., are 
entirely devoted to Sano di Pietro. Sano, or Ansano, is 
the most mystical, the most genuinely inspired by religious 
devotion, of all the painters of Siena ; like Fra Angelico, 
his life was in perfect harmony with his art, pictor famosus 
et homo totus deditus Deo so is he described in the docu- 
ment that registers his death " a famous painter and a 
man utterly dedicated to God " ; but, unlike Angelico, 
he was a married man 'and a father of children. In 
these two rooms he can be thoroughly studied in all his 
phases. His brush moves in a somewhat restricted field. 
It is always the Madonna with her Divine Child, sur- 
rounded by saints and adored by Seraphim, now listening 
to the music of attendant Angels, now crowned by her 
Son with the diadem of Paradise. Or we have saints, 
men and women, rapt in ecstasy and already of another 
world. Sometimes monks or nuns are introduced, kneel- 
ing at Our Lady's feet or worshipping her Child, or the 
portrait of the donor frequently (as in number 9 of 
Stanza IV.) some devout nun who had it painted "for 
the soul of her father and of her mother " ; but such 
figures are always very small indeed, as though to reduce 
the human element to a minimum. The faces are always 
very sweet the Angels, with the flame of the Holy 
Spirit resting upon their foreheads, perhaps especially so 
the colours are of that almost shadowless brightness 
that the Sienese loved. Among the Sienese saints intro- 
duced we may notice (Stanza IV., 25) the founder of 
the Gesuati, the Beato Giovanni Colombini, kneeling at 
the Madonna's feet ; he was a leader in the religious life 
of Tuscany when St Catherine was a child, and the 
Colombini were connected by marriage with the Benincasa. 


The Story of Siena 

One picture in Stanza IV. (20) is unique among Sano's 
works, and may be described as a mystical treatment of 
contemporary history. Pope Calixtus III. is enthroned 
in full pontifical robes, his cope being buckled with the 
Borgia arms, while below appears Siena with the Tower 
of the Palazzo and the Campanile of the Duomo ; mules 
are being driven into the city, laden with sacks of grain 
marked with the balzana^ the muleteer being armed and 
looking round in fear to see if he is pursued. In the 
clouds the Madonna appears, to commend her city to the 
Holy Father, a scroll bearing her words : " O worthy 
Pastor to my Christian people, to thee henceforth do I 
render the care of Siena ; to her let all thy kindly feeling 
turn." And we have his answer : " Virgin Mother, 
dear Consort to God, if thy Calixtus is worthy of so 
great a gift, nought save death shall sever me from Siena." 
Though somewhat hastily painted, and though the char- 
acter of Calixtus is hardly more realised than in the case 
of Giotto's popes, the historical interest of the picture, 
which was executed for the Palazzo Pubblico, is consider- 
able. In 1455, when Piccinino the great condottiere 
in secret understanding with Giberto da Correggio, the 
commander of the Sienese forces, and with Ghino di 
Pietro Bellanti and other traitors within the walls 
was preparing to make war upon the Republic, Calixtus 
(Alfonso Borgia), then newly-elected Pope, took Siena 
under his protection and sent the ecclesiastical forces to 
its support. He urged the Sienese to prosecute the war 
to the bitter end, declared that their cause was his own. 
" We shall maintain inviolate your own and the common 
peace and quiet of all Italy," he said to the Captain of 
the People and the Priors of the Commune in a bull 
dated August I4th, 1455, "even to the shedding of our 
own blood, if needs be." "You have a Pope," wrote 
Enea Silvio Piccolomini (who was not yet Cardinal), 
a few days later to the Balia, "most affectionate towards 


The Sculptors and Painters of Siena 

your Republic, as you perceive ; know how to take 
advantage of it, for his courage is as great as his charity, 
nor has he anything at heart save justice." * When the 
Balia wanted to compromise and make peace, Calixtus 
would not hear of it, but sent abundant grain and pro- 
visions into the hungry city. This is the situation 
represented in the picture, which may confidently be 
dated 1455; but a comparison with the Pope's medals 
shows that Sano has hardly done justice to the rather 
striking features of the first Pope of the House of Borgia. 

There is an analogous picture by Sano in Stanza V., tian 
Bernardino (2) as champion of the devotion of the Holy 
Name, as the inscription, " I have manifested Thy Name 
to men," indicates. Painted in 1460, sixteen years after 
the Saint's death, it is less a contemporary portrait than 
that by Lorenzo di Pietro. All the other pictures in 
this room are in Sano's usual mystical style. There is 
an interval of thirty years between the date of the 
Madonna of San Biagio (4), the saintly Bishop whose 
miracles and martyrdom are so quaintly depicted in the 
predella, and that of the Assumption (8, 9) ; but there 
is little, if any, advance in technique or development in 
style. But no sympathetic student of Sienese painting 
can ever find Sano di Pietro monotonous, or otherwise 
than fascinating. 

In Stanza VI., a picture by Sano di Pietro (2) in the 
composition of the principal scene the Madonna and 
Child surrounded by kneeling Saints shows a certain 
resemblance to Fra Angelico. In the Crucifixion above, 
St Francis is receiving the stigmata, and two Franciscan 
nuns are aiding the holy women to tend the Blessed 
Virgin ; the predella, however, is by a later hand. The 

1 The text of the Bull and Enea Silvio's letter in L. Banchi, 
// Piccinino nello Stato di Siena e la Lega Italica (1455-56), ill 
the Archivio Storico Italiano, Series IV., vol. iv. , pp. 56-58. See 
also next chapter, pp. 144-147. 

H 113 

The Story of Siena 

chief contents of this room are the works of Matteo di 
Giovanni, on the whole the most powerful and most 
versatile Sienese painter of the fifteenth century, and 
Neroccio di Bartolommeo Landi, a " Simone come to 
life again " in the air of the Renaissance. 1 By the 
former are three beautiful Madonnas (5, 7, 9), somewhat 
varied in type and style. By the latter, whose figures 
are stately and gracious like those of his statues, very 
sweet and winning in expression, are the large enthroned 
Madonna and Saints (8) ; four smaller pictures (n, 13, 
14, 22), in two of which no one can fail to be struck 
with the painter's exquisite realisation of the personality 
of St Catherine ; and the signed and dated Madonna and 
Child of 1476, with St Michael and San Bernardino 
(19), one of the master's earlier works. Francesco 
di Giorgio Martini is represented by three very small 
pictures (15, 16, 17) of Old Testament scenes, an 
Annunciation (21), and three Madonnas (20, 23, 24). 
We have also some interesting works by lesser masters. 
By Pietro di Domenico (1457-1501), who was in- 
fluenced by the Umbrians, is the Adoration of the 
Shepherds with St Galganus and St Martin (3), the Gal- 
ganus having struck his sword into the rock at the Divine 
Child's feet; the date seems to read 1400, only because 
the latter part has been obliterated. By Guidoccio 
Cozzarelli (1450-1516) are a Saint Sebastian (25) and 
Our Lady as protector of the Arts (29), the Queen of 
the Artisans. 

Stanza VII. contains unimportant fragments and 

With the opening of the Cinquecento, Siena grew 
dissatisfied with the antiquated methods of her native 
artists. Three mediocre painters, indeed, carried on 
their traditional manner well into the sixteenth century: 
Bernardino Fungai (1460-1516), Girolamo di Ben- 

1 Berenson, op. cit. p. 56. 

The Sculptors and Painters of Siena 

venuto (1470-1 524), the son of Benvenuto di Giovanni, 
and Giacomo Pacchiarotti (1474-1540), Fungai's pupil, 
a turbulent fellow, whose pusillanimous, half- crazy 
attempts to pose as a political revolutionary are im- 
mortalised in a novella by Pietro Fortini and a poem by 
Robert Browning. But in the meanwhile, better masters 
had been brought to Siena from other cities; Luca 
Signorelli and his pupil, Girolamo Genga, from Cortona 
and Urbino, had come to decorate the palace of the 
Magnifico ; Bernardino Pinturicchio of Perugia had been 
hired by the Piccolomini, and his great fellow-citizen, 
Pietro Perugino, was painting altarpieces for Sant' 
Agostino and San Francesco. 

And, greater than any of these, there came one whom 
Siena made her own : Giovanni Antonio Bazzi (1477- 
1549), presently to be known as Sodoma. The son of 
an artisan of Vercelli, Bazzi had gone to Milan and 
fallen under the influence of Leonardo da Vinci, though 
it is doubtful whether he actually became his pupil. 
In 1501 certain merchants, agents of the Spannocchi, 
brought the young man to Siena, with which city save 
for the short period from 1508 to 1510, when he worked 
in Rome mainly for the rich Sienese banker, Agostino 
Chigi he was henceforth associated. Morelli regarded 
Bazzi as " the most important and gifted artist of the 
school of Leonardo the one who is most easily con- 
founded with the great master himself." Frequently 
careless and very unequal in his execution, the exquisite 
beauty of his women's faces can hardly be surpassed ; 
and "in his best moments, when he brought all his 
powers into play, Sodoma produced works which are 
worthy to rank with the most perfect examples of Italian 
art." 1 He was a wild and reckless fellow enough in his 
life, passionately addicted to horse-racing, and a lover of 
strange beasts and birds. Of these latter he kept a 

1 Italian Painters, i. p. 158. 


The Story of Siena 

whole collection round him, great and small of every 
kind that he could get, until, in Vasari's phrase, "his 
house seemed verily to be the Ark of Noah." In a list 
of his goods which Bazzi drew up for taxation in 1531, 
eight race-horses and a number of these other creatures 
are set down, and the catalogue ends may my fair 

readers pardon me the 
quotation ! with " tre 
bestiacce cattive, che son 
tre donne." 

These varied influences 
combined with that of 
Florence to produce 
eclecticism; "a most 
singular and charming eclec- 
ticism, saved from the pre- 
tentiousness and folly usually 
controlling such movements 
by the sense for grace 
and beauty even to the last 
seldom absent from the 
Sienese." 1 The three 
principal Sienese painters 
of this kind are Girolamo 
del Pacchia (1477-1535), Baldassare Peruzzi (1481- 
1536), and Domenico di Giacomo di Pace (1486-1 550), 
called Mecarino or Beccafumi. Girolamo del Pacchia 
was the son of a Hungarian father and a Sienese mother; 
he learned the first principles of art in Siena (probably 
from Fungai), and then went to Florence and Rome, 
returning to Siena in 1508 where he soon fell under 
Bazzi's influence. Like Pacchiarotti (with whom he 
used to be confused) Girolamo became involved in plots 
and conspiracies, and was forced to fly from Siena. 
Baldassare Peruzzi is one of the most famous architects 

Bastion outside Porta Pisplni 
erected by Baldattare Peruzzi 


1 Berenson, op. cit. p. 56. 

The Sculptors and Painters of Siena 

of the Renaissance. As a painter he first worked under 
Pinturicchio, then went to Rome where he laboured 
much for the Popes and Agostino Chigi, falling under 
the influence of Bazzi and later of Raphael, whom he 
succeeded as chief architect of San Pietro. In the sack 
of Rome he was taken by the Spaniards, cruelly tortured, 
and escaped to Siena in a state of abject poverty. The 
Sienese made him public architect to the Republic, and 
afterwards Capomaestro of the Duomo. There are a 
number of buildings attributed to him in Siena, mostly 
doubtful. He ended his days in the Eternal City, work- 
ing on the fabric of San Pietro. Of Baldassare's paintings 
Siena only possesses a few of his earliest and some of his 
very latest. Domenico di Giacomo was the son of a con- 
tadino on the estate of Lorenzo Beccafumi (whom we 
have already met in the political field) in the plain of 
the Cortine near Montaperti. Lorenzo found him, like 
Giotto, drawing on the sand and stones the movements 
of the animals under his charge, took him into his house- 
hold, had him taught to paint, and gave him his own 
family name. " Domenico was a virtuous and excellent 
person," says Vasari, "and studious in his art, but exces- 
sively solitary." He worked at Rome, Genoa and 
other places, but told his friend and admirer, Vasari, 
that he could do nothing away from the air of Siena. 
At different epochs he imitated Perugino, Bazzi, Fra 
Bartolommeo, even Michelangelo ; an unequal but im- 
aginative painter, he excels in the treatment of light 
and shade. Two other artists of this epoch deserve 
special mention Andrea Piccinelli, called Del Bresci- 
anino, the son of a Brescian, who painted between 1 507 
and 1525, first following Girolamo del Pacchia, after- 
wards imitating Fra Bartolommeo ; and Bartolommeo 
Neroni, called II Riccio, whose work belongs to the 
middle of the century, the son-in-law and chief pupil of 
Bazzi. To complete the sketch of Sienese art in the 


The Story of Siena 

first half of the Cinquecento, we must add a painter who 
comes slightly earlier than these two : Matteo Balducci, 
a native of the Perugian contado, who appears originally 
to have been Pinturicchio's assistant and pupil, and after- 
wards to have become a pupil of Bazzi. 1 His work, 
however, shows no trace of the influence of the latter 
master, but is purely Umbrian in character. 

In Stanza VI II., besides a series of small pictures painted 
for the Confraternity of Fontegiusta (i, 2, 35, 36), is 
Bazzi's famous fresco of Christ at the Column (27), even 
in its damaged condition unmistakably divine. His 
Judith (29) is likewise a work of great beauty ; but the 
St Catherine ascribed to him (32) is unworthy alike of 
the painter and of the subject. The two frescoes (8, 9), 
representing a Ransom of Prisoners and the Flight of 
Aeneas from Troy, come from the palace of Pandolfo 
Petrucci ; they were executed by Girolamo Genga, but 
the composition is probably by Luca Signorelli. Two 
Madonnas (12 and 30) are ascribed by Mr Berenson to 
Girolamo del Pacchia. By Matteo Balducci are an 
Angel (21) and the Madonna and Child, with St 
Catherine and San Bernardino (34). There is also a 
Madonna (26) by Girolamo Magagni, called Giomo, a 
pupil of Bazzi's, who robbed his master's studio while 
the latter lay sick in Florence. Both in this room and 
the next there is some excellent wood carving by Antonio 

The gems of Stanza IX. are two pictures hung under 
the name of Pinturicchio a Nativity (28), which Mr 
Berenson attributes to Matteo Balducci, and a Madonna 
and Child holding a pomegranate, with the little St John, 

1 That is to say, if the Matteo Balducci who is mentioned 
as Pinturicchio's pupil in a document of January 1509 is the 
same as the Matteo Balducci who in 1517 became Bazzi's pupil 
for six years. Frizzoni (L'Arte Italiana del Rinascimento, p. 183) 
holds that they are two different persons. 

The Sculptors and Painters of Siena 

against a gold background (29), recognised by the same 
authority as an early work of Baldassare Peruzzi. We 
have several Madonnas by Fungai (i, 21, 23, 24, 33) ; 
five Saints by Pacchiarotti (5); a whole series of 
Umbrian pictures Saints (2, 37)* Virtues (10, 11, 15, 
19), and a Madonna (17) attributed to Balducci by 
Mr Berenson. By Balducci is also the Madonna and 
Child with St Jerome and St Francis (14)* There are 
dated pictures by Guidoccio Cozzarelli (7) of 1482, 
and by Andrea di Niccolo (8), an unimportant painter 
of the end of the Quattrocento. The Trinita, with the 
two St Johns, St Cosmas and St Damian, is one of Becca- 
fumi's earliest and best works ; it was painted in 1512 
for the Spedale, as the presence of the two patrons of 
the healing art a kind of mediaeval duplication of 
Aesculapius indicates. 

The long hall, Stanza X., contains larger pictures of 
the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The arrangement 
being rather confused, it will, perhaps, be best to take 
them more or less chronologically. By Matteo di 
Giovanni are three smaller Madonnas near the entrance 
one (12) being rather doubtful and an important 
altarpiece of the Madonna and Child with Angels and 
Saints (36). Guidoccio Cozzarelli is represented by 
a St Catherine exchanging hearts with the Christ (4), 
Vecchietta by the interesting sketch (5) for his bronze 
tabernacle that is now on the high altar of the Duomo, 
Francesco di Giorgio by a signed Nativity of our Lord 
(41) and the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin (44) 
two large pictures curiously lacking the usual Sienese 
grace and refinement, showing to some extent the influ- 
ence of Signorelli. A worthless picture of the Passion 
(29), which should not even questionably be connected 
with this painter's name, shows the Sienese school at its 
weakest and worst. Benvenuto di Giovanni is seen to 
considerable advantage in a triptych (39), signed and 


The Story of Siena 

dated 1475; tne central compartment, the Madonna 
and Child with Angels, is particularly attractive. His 
Ascension of Christ (37), on the other hand, from the 
church of Sant' Eugenic, signed and dated 1491, is 
rather harsh and uninspired. By Fungai are a Madonna 
with Saints (30), signed and dated 1512, and an 
Assumption (45), a subject in which the painter 
succeeded better elsewhere. It is not easy to distinguish 
the early style of Pacchiarotti from that of Fungai ; 
the altarpiece (14) is said to be by the master and 
pupil in collaboration; the Ascension (24), with its 
predella (23), dry and hard with uncouth and un- 
refined types, and the Visitation (31), in which the 
white-robed girlish Madonna has much sweetness and 
charm, are by Pacchiarotti. Girolamo di Benvenuto is 
represented by the best picture he ever painted (which, 
after all, is rather faint praise), signed and dated 1508, 
representing the Madonna and Child attended by Angels 
and Saints (17), with the two St Catherines kneeling 
before the throne the Alexandrian of the Wheels being 
obviously an excellent portrait of a young Sienese lady 
of the Cinquecento. 

The famous Deposition from the Cross (13) is an 
early work by Bazzi, practically the first important 
picture that he painted on his first coming to Siena ; 
it is entirely in the Lombard or Milanese style, re- 
calling the work of Luini. The scenes in the predella 
are by another hand. The Prayer in the Garden (2) 
and the Descent into Limbo (46), the remains of a 
series of frescoes which he painted for the Compagnia 
di Santa Croce, are later and have suffered from restora- 
tion ; in the latter the figure of Eve is exceedingly 
lovely, one of those exquisite presentments of women 
in which this painter excels. Girolamo del Pacchia 
is represented by an Annunciation and Visitation (7), 
painted in 1518, a beautiful work, showing the influence 
1 20 



The Sculptors and Painters of Siena 

of Albertinelli. An attractive tondo ascribed to him, 
the Holy Family with St Antony of Padua (35), was 
given back by Morelli to its proper author, Girolamo 
Genga. A very Perugian Nativity (26), hung as 
Pinturicchio, is ascribed by Mr Berenson to Balducci, 
by whom is also the predella (25), belonging to a 
picture that we shall see in Santo Spirito an excellent 
little work representing the Pieta between the reception 
of the Stigmata by St Francis and St Catherine re- 
spectively. By Andrea del Brescianino is an uninter- 
esting altarpiece (9), with a predella (8) ; while of 
Bartolommeo Neroni's pictures the best is the Corona- 
tion of the Madonna (47), with its predella (49), from 
the church of San Francesco in Asciano. 

But, of all the later Sienese, Domenico Beccafumi is 
best represented here. His Reception of the Stigmata 
by St Catherine, with St Benedict and St Jerome (22), 
the three smaller scenes from her life (19, 20, 21) 
forming its predella her receiving the Dominican habit, 
her miraculous Communion, her mystical Espousals 
is one of the most beautiful pictures in the whole range 
of Sienese art. It was painted for the Olivetan convent 
of St Benedict outside the Porta Tufi. " This picture," 
wrote Vasari, "for its harmonious colouring and ex- 
cellent modelling, was and is still greatly praised. 
Likewise in the predella he did certain stories in dis- 
temper with incredible spirit and vivacity, and with such 
facility in drawing that they could not have greater 
grace, and nevertheless seem done without a trouble in 
the world." The treatment of light and shade is 
admirable. This is one of his earlier works ; the Birth 
of Mary (6) is later and less excellent, but praised by 
Vasari for its effects of light. The unfinished Fall of 
the Rebel Angels (25), confused in composition and 
mannered in style, shows Beccafumi at his worst. It 
struck Vasari as something original, una pioggia cT'ignudi 

The Story of Siena 

motto bella, " a right lovely rain of nude figures," and he 
admired and wondered at their foreshortening, certi scorti 
d'ignudi bellissimi. The Descent of Christ into Limbo 
(28), from San Francesco, is a far nobler thing the 
Penitent Thief, following the Saviour, is very strikingly 
conceived and executed. Here also are several of 
Beccafumi's cartoons for the pavement of the Duomo, 
chiefly scenes from the history of Moses and Aaron, 
with one from that of Elijah. Ascribed to him is also 
the tondo (34) of the Madonna and Child with two 

Over the door to Stanza XI. is a frescoed Last 
Supper of 1 595 by Bernardo Poccetti, from the Certosa 
di Pontignano. Stanza XI . contains a number of pictures 
of different schools, mostly unimportant. There are 
two Saints, St Mary Magdalene (3) and St Catherine 
of Alexandria (115) of 1512, ascribed to Fra 
Bartolommeo, but certainly the work of Mariotto 
Albertinelli ; and an Annunciation (7) by the Venetian 
Paris Bordone. Two tondi are among the greatest 
treasures of the gallery : the Holy Family by Pintu- 
ricchio (45), a work of exquisite beauty and poetic 
sentiment; and the Adoration of the Divine Child (n) 
by Bazzi. The latter, painted for the Hermitage of 
Lecceto, is one of the earliest works that Bazzi executed 
in Siena, and represents, as Signer Frizzoni has noted, 
a certain union of Tuscan taste with the artist's native 
Lombard manner. 

During the last quarter of the sixteenth and the first 
quarter of the seventeenth century a number of capable 
artists upheld, not unworthily, the traditions of Sienese 
painting : Arcangiolo Salimbeni and his son Ventura, 
Alessandro Casolani, Pietro Sorri, Francesco Vanni, 
Francesco Rustici (Rustichino) and Rutilio Manetti, 
whose works are still for the most part in the churches 
for which they were painted. Rutilio Manetti, who died 

The Sculptors and Painters of Siena 

in 1639, may be regarded as the last of the great line of 
Sienese artists. But even in the nineteenth century the 
names of Giovanni Duprd, in sculpture, and Amos Cassioli 
(a native, like Domenico di Bartolo, of Asciano), in 
painting, have won renown beyond the walls of Siena. 



The Campo of Siena and the Palace of 
the Commune 

AT the heart of Siena, where its three hills meet, is 
^ the famous Piazza upon which so many of the 
stormiest scenes in the history of the city have been 
enacted : the Campo, now known officially as the Piazza 
Vittorio Emanuele. It is a semicircular space, the central 
portion paved with brick and curiously resembling the 
concavity of a shell bordered by a stone pavement, sur- 
rounded with what were once aristocratic palaces. It is 
entered by narrow streets, which in stormy times could 
be securely held by mere handfuls of armed men. On 
the southern side of the Piazza, built as it were upon the 
diameter of the semicircle, rises that perfect ideal of a 
republican home of the State the superb Gothic Palazzo 
Pubblico, perhaps better known as the Palazzo Comunale 
or the Palazzo dei Signori. Pandolfo Petrucci conceived 
the idea of surrounding the Piazza with a porticato, and 
is said to have commissioned Baldassare Peruzzi to carry 
out the plan ; the Balia revived the notion at a subsequent 
period in 1547, long after the fall of the Petrucci, but 
nothing came of it. 

In the Campo is the fountain, known as the Fonte 

Gaia from the rejoicings that hailed the advent of its 

waters. On Whitsunday, 1343, the water was brought 

into the fountain from the Fontebranda, and a fortnight 


The Campo of Siena 

of wild festivity followed. " There was such rejoicing 
in Siena, such dancing and such illumination," writes the 
old chronicler, " that it would seem incredible if it were 
told, nor could anyone believe it who had not seen it." 
Soon after the completion of the work a beautiful marble 
Venus was discovered, which is said to have borne the 
signature of Lysippus. The Sienese were mad with 
delight, and the artists rushed to worship this divine relic 
of antiquity questa tanta maraviglia e tanta arte, as 
Ghiberti, the teller of the tale, calls it which was 
finally carried in state to the fountain and enthroned 
upon it. But things went badly with the Republic ; 
factions ran riot, famine and pestilence ravaged the city. 
The Twelve who now ruled were less liberal and more 
ignorant than the Nine, and at length a worthy citizen in 
the Senate declared that such idolatry was forbidden 
by the Christian faith ; that all their misfortunes came 
from the presence of this statue, which should straightway 
be smashed to pieces and buried in Florentine territory. 
This act of vandalism appears to have been perpetrated. 
At least, in the Books of the Deliberations of the Con- 
cistoro there is an entry under November 7th, 1357, to 
the effect that the marble statue, at present placed upon 
the fountain of the Campo, shall be taken away as soon 
as possible, and dealt with in whatever way shall seem 
best to the Signori DodiciJ- In the following century 
Giacomo della Quercia was commissioned to make the 
marble fountain, from which he was afterwards known as 
Giacomo della Fonte ; he produced a work which has 
been described as deservedly ranking " among the model 
fountains of the world." The present fountain is only a 
modern and incomplete copy, but the mutilated remains 
of Giacomo's work are still to be seen in the Opera del 

Something will have been gathered from the preceding 

1 Miscellanea Storica Senese, v. II, 12. 


The Story of Siena 

chapters of the faction fights that have swept over the 
Campo and raged round the Palace. Here, too, in one 
of those fevers of piety that overtook the Sienese at inter- 
vals, vast crowds assembled to listen to the burning words 
of San Bernardino. Specially famous are the discourses 
that he delivered here in the August and September of 
1427, immediately after he had refused the Bishopric 
of Siena. He had been specially urged to come, not 
only by the Commune, but by the Pope and the late 
Bishop, to allay the bitterness of the rival factions within 
che city. " Ah, my children ! " he said, " no longer 
follow these parties, nor these standards, for you see to 
what they bring us. You have the example in the time 
that is passed, how evilly things have fallen out of old 
for many. Ah ! be at peace in your own home." And 
again, in his last sermon : " There still remain many 
peaces for us to make. I pray you hold me excused, 
and so I believe that you accept my excuse. You must 
consider that I have had many things to attend to in 
these sermons. Ah ! for the love of God, love one 
another. Alas ! see you not that, if you love the destruc- 
tion, one of the other, what followeth to you therefrom ? 
See you not that you are ruining your very selves ? Ah ! 
put this thing right, for the love of God ; do not wait 
for God to lay His hands upon us with His scourge ; for 
if you leave it to Him to do, you will be chastised for 
it. Love one another ! What I have done, to make 
peace among you and to make you like brothers, I have 
done with that zeal that I should wish my own soul to 
receive. And so say I of this, as of the other things of 
the Commune ; I have done it all to the glory and 
honour of God, and for the weal and salvation of your 
souls. As I have told you, I have treated you as true 
children ; and I tell you more, that if I could take you 
by the hair, I would pacify the whole lot of you. And 
let no one think that I have set myself to do anything at 

The Campo of Siena 

any person's request. I am only moved by the bidding 
of God, for His honour and glory." l 

Here is a scene of another kind, from the Diari of 
Allegretto, under July 1463, when the Duchess of 
Calabria with a train of Apulian nobles visited Siena : 

" In honour of the said Duchess, there was arranged 
by the Arts a most beauteous pageant and dance at the 
foot of the Palace of the Signori, and there were invited 
as many worthy young women and girls as Siena had, who 
came right well adorned with robes and jewels, and young 
men to dance. And there was made a great she- wolf, 
all gilded, out of which came a morris-dance of twelve 
persons, right well and richly adorned, and one dressed 
like a nun, and they danced to a canzone that begins : 
* She won't be a nun any more.' And at the said dance 
a goodly collation was provided of marchpanes and other 
cates in abundance, with fruit of every kind according to 
the season. To the said Duchess and her nobles it 
seemed a fair thing and a rich pageant, and that she-wolf 
pleased them immensely, and they thought that we had 
lovely women." 

On June iQth, 1482, when the factions that preceded 
the expulsion of the Noveschi were at their height, a 
preacher of a very different stamp to Bernardino appeared 
upon the scenes : the future opponent of Savonarola, 
Fra Mariano, the favourite of the Medici. "Maestro 
Mariano da Genazzano," writes Allegretto, "of the 
Osservanti of St Augustine, preached at the foot of the 
Palace of the Signori, to the Signoria, the Cardinal and 
all the People, the Signoria with the People having first 
gone to the Duomo to fetch the Madonna delle Grazie 
with the baldacchino. And the preacher's introit was : 
Every kingdom divided against itself shall be brought to 
isolation, which he repeated three times, each time 

1 See V. Lusini, Storia della Basilica di San Francesco, 
pp. 99-101. 

The Story of Siena 

raising his voice higher. And when the sermon was 
finished, they brought back the Madonna to the Duomo 
with all the People." 1 

No less characteristic of Siena than her faction fights 
and her preachers of peace are the wild games that the 
Sienese played, the mad races that they ran and still run 
round the Campo. The oldest of these was the Giuoco 
delle Pugna a furious game of fisticuffs which sometimes 
ended seriously. In 1324, on the Sunday before the 
Carnival, there was a desperate giuoco delle pugna here, 
600 a side, the Terzi of San Martino and Camollia 
engaging the Terzo di Citta. The latter was driven 
off the ground. Then they set to with stones and sticks, 
and presently with swords and lances and darts, "and 
so great grew the uproar in the Campo that it seemed 
that the world was going upside down, by reason of the 
vast crowd that drew together." The soldiers of the 
Commune, the Captain, the Podesta, the Nine strove in 
vain to stop it. Several of the soldiers were killed ; 
armed men poured into the Campo; the Saracini and 
the Scotti, whose palaces looked out upon the scene, 
hurled stones from their windows, and the mob in re- 
turn tried to fire their houses. The secular authority 
proving helpless, at length the Bishop with the priests 
and friars of all the religious orders in Siena came into 
the Campo, with a processional cross in front of them, 
and passed through the thick of the battle, until it 
slackened and the combatants drew asunder. A peculiar 
variety of the Giuoco delle Pugna were the Asmate or 
donkey-fights. These were exhibited by the contrade 
those popular associations, for sport and other purposes, 
into which Siena is still divided. Each contrada that 
took part came into the Campo with its captain and 
ancients (allow me this Elizabethan rendering of alfieri, 

1 Diari, 809. The Cardinal mentioned is Francesco Piccolo- 


The Campo of Siena 

the youths who carry the banners of the contrade), with 
thirty pugillatori and an ass painted in the colours of the 
contrada. No arms of any sort were allowed not even 
a ring on the finger under severe penalties, corporal 
and financial ; but almost any other sort of violence was 
permitted. The struggle was to force these donkeys 
round the Campo, in spite of all the efforts of the rival 
contrade, and the one that first completed two rounds 
was the winner. In later years the Asinate gave place 
to the less exciting Buffalate races with buffaloes. Last 
remnants of these departed glories are races which are 
now run twice a year on the festivals of our Lady's 
Visitation (July 2nd) and of her Assumption (August 
1 5th) with mounted horses by the contrade. The race is 
still called the Palio, from the rich stuff (now represented 
by a banner) given as prize. No one who cares for 
Siena and the Sienese should miss any opportunity of 
seeing these races as often as he can ; for in no other 
way can he enter into the peculiar spirit of this most 
picturesque of Tuscan peoples. 1 

It is a far cry from these things to Dante, to whom 
we owe the story of Provenzano Salvani's act of humility 
in this place. But Boccaccio has given us a vivid picture 
of the poet himself at one of these typical Sienese enter- 

1 See A. Lisini, Misc. Star. Senese, iv,, 5, 6. Mr Hey wood's 
admirable little book, Our Lady of August and the Palio of Siena, 
deals exhaustively with this aspect of the past history and 
present life of the Sienese. The horse races of the Campo 
had originally nothing to do with the contrade, but were run 
by the Republic. Foreign nobles, even reigning sovereigns, 
entered horses, no less than did Sienese notabilities. On 
August i5th, 1492, the palio was won by a horse belonging to 
Cesare Borgia ; but because his jockey (fantino} had won by a 
trick of questionable legality, the Signoria made some diffi- 
culty about giving him the prize apparently at the appeal of 
the representative of the Marquis of Mantua whose horse had 
come in second. (See Cesare's letter in Lisini, Relazioni tra C. 
Borgia e la Repubblica Senese, pp. II, 12.) 

The Story of Siena 

tainments, which would seem to have been a tournament 
in the Campo. Dante had found a little book in an 
apothecary's shop, " which book was of much fame 
amongst men of worth, and had never yet been seen by 
him. And as it befell, not having leisure to take it to 
some other place, he leant with his breast against the 
bench that stood before the apothecary's and set the book 
before him, and began most eagerly to examine it ; and 
although soon after, in that very district, right before 
him, by occasion of some general festival of the Sienese, 
a great tournament was begun and carried through by 
certain noble youths, and therewith the mightiest din 
of them around as in like cases is wont to come about, 
with various instruments and with applauding shouts 
and although many other things took place such as might 
draw one to look on them, as dances of fair ladies, and 
many sports of youths, yet was there never a one that 
saw him stir thence, nor once raise his eyes from the 

The superb Palace of the Commune of Siena built 
between 1288 and 1308 to house the Podesta with his 
famiglia, or household, and the members of the Signoria 
is essentially the architectural and pictorial monument of 
the government of the Nine. Like several other Gothic 
palaces in the city, it is partly in grey stone, partly in 
red brick. Needless to say, the fa9ade tells us a later 
and more comprehensive story ; over every door and 
window is the balzana, the black and white shield of 
the Commune, but in the centre, between it and the lion 
shield of the People, are the arms of Duke Cosimo, 
the sign of the death of the Republic. Above all, rises 
the mystical monogram of the Divine Name, bringing 
us back to Bernardino. The tall soaring tower, known 
as the Torre del Mangia, was begun in 1338 and 
finished in 1348 or 1349; it has recently been dis- 
covered that its architects were two brothers from 

JT T'T {-> 



The Palace of the Commune 

Perugia, Minuccio and Francesco di Rinaldo, and that 
the upper part was designed by the painter, Lippo 
Memmi, in I34I- 1 The Chapel at the foot of the 
tower was begun in 1 348, " for a certain miracle that 
Our Lady the Virgin Mary did " or at least vowed 
in that year, as a memorial of deliverance from the Black 
Death, and built in the third quarter of the fourteenth 
century. The upper part, with its beautiful frieze of 
griffins, is the work of Antonio Federighi, and dates 
from 1460. The statues of saints in their niches merely 
show to what depths Sienese sculpture had sunk by the 
latter part of the fourteenth century, before the rise of 
Giacomo della Quercia. The ruined and restored 
fresco is Bazzi's last work in Siena. He promised 
in 1537 that he would have it done by the Feast of 
Our Lady in August for 60 golden scudi, but went 
off for a holiday to Piombino after beginning it, and did 
not return to complete the work till the following year. 
The door behind the chapel leads into a picturesque and 
deserted court, with a faded fifteenth century fresco and 
a number of old armorial bearings on the walls. 

The Lupa of gilded bronze on the column to the 
right of the Palace marks the entrance to the apartments 
of the Signoria. Over the door, two very lean wolves 
are adoring the crowned Lion of the People. We 
ascend the steps to the first floor, into a magnificent 
series of rooms, glowing with masterpieces of Sienese 
painting. The first room variously called the Sala 
delle Balestrc^ the Sala del Mappamondo, and the Sala del 
Gran Consiglio is now a law-court. Here at one epoch 
the Consiglio delJa Campana, or Senate, at others the 
minor councils of the State met. The whole wall 
above the place of the president of the court is occupied 
by a vast fresco by Simone Martini painted in 1315, 

1 See A. Lisini, Chifu farchitttto della Torre del Mangia, in the 
Misc. Star. Senese, II., 9, IO. 


7 be Story of Siena 

* right marvellously coloured," as Ghiberti calls it. 
Our Lady, enthroned as Queen of Siena, is holding up 
the Divine Child standing on her knees to bless the 
deliberations of the Council ; Apostles and the Baptist 
hold the poles of the canopy, Virgin Martyrs and 
Angels stand in attendance, while two kneeling Angels 
offer flowers on behalf of Siena's four sainted patrons 
Ansanus, Savinus, Crescentius and Victor. All the 
faces have the winning sweetness and spiritual loveliness 
that we find throughout the works of the Sienese school. 
At the foot of the throne is a poetical inscription : 
" The angelical flowers, roses and lilies, wherewith the 
celestial meadow is adorned, do not delight me more 
than good counsels. But sometimes I see one who, 
to exalt himself, despises me and deceives my city ; 
and when he speaks worse, he is more praised by 
each one whom these words condemn." And along 
the base of the picture is their Queen's answer to the 
prayers of the Saints : " My beloved ones, be assured 
that I will make your devout chaste prayers content, as 
you shall wish. But if the potent oppress the weak, 
harassing them with shames and harms, your prayers 
are not for these, nor for whoso deceives my city." 

Such being the ideal basis of Siena's policy, we are 
now given a series of her victories. On the opposite 
wall, painted by Simone in 1328, is a mediaeval warrior, 
Guidoriccio, riding alone, fully armed save for the head, 
his baton of command in his hand, his steed gorgeously 
caparisoned. The face is an admirable piece of por- 
traiture. Behind him lie the camp of the Sienese and the 
captured castle from which the banner of the Commune 
floats. On either hand are preparations for storming 
the town in front ; but he proudly rides forward alone, 
to summon it to surrender. Guidoriccio dei Fogliani 
of Reggio was elected Captain of War in Siena for six 
months in 1326, and afterwards confirmed so many 

The Palace of the Commune 

times in the office that he kept it for seven years. In 
1328, when the power of Castruccio degli Interminelli 
was at its height in Tuscany, he led the Sienese against 
Montemassi (the town represented in the fresco), re- 
pulsed the forces sent by Castruccio to its relief and 
forced it to surrender. In 1329 he put down a for- 
midable bread-riot in the Campo, and in 1331 he won 
a great victory over the Pisans under the walls of Massa, 
after which he had himself dubbed a knight on the field 
of battle and returned to Siena in triumph. He died 
in 1352, and the Commune gave him a sumptuous public 
funeral in San Domenico. 

Two later battle-scenes are on the wall opposite the 
windows. First is the great victory gained by the 
Sienese over the Company of the Cappello in October 
1363, at Torrita, in the Valdichiana. After a vain 
attempt to come to terms, the Sienese hired four hundred 
German men-at-arms, and took the field with the forces 
of the city and the contado under Ceccolo degli Orsini, 
the Captain-General of the Commune. Before march- 
ing out of Siena, the republican army was put under the 
protection of St Paul the Apostle apparently because 
the Christian name of the then Prior of the Twelve was 
Paolo. Orders had been given not to risk a battle ; but, 
as soon as they came up with the enemy, the Germans 
set upon them, and the Captain with the Sienese follow- 
ing, a complete victory was gained. On the left of the 
fresco St Paul, with drawn sword, is seated at the gate 
of Siena, surrounded by warrior Angels. We see the 
advancing host of the Sienese, in front of which the 
splendid mercenary cavalry has already burst upon the 
ranks of the Company and broken through them, while 
on the right the rout is complete. The Sienese treated 
their prisoners magnificently ; they deprived Ceccolo of 
his command, for having disobeyed their orders, but 
knighted him and heaped honours and presents upon 


The Story of Siena 

him. The Twelve gave a solemn banquet in the Palace 
to him and his officers, presented him with a palfrey 
covered with silk, a sword of honour, a suit of armour 
and a golden crown, with double pay to his troops and 
household. A solemn Mass was celebrated in the Duomo, 
with great offerings to the miraculous Madonna, and the 
Twelve commissioned Lippo di Vanni to paint the fresco 
in memory of the glorious event. The second fresco, 
more than a hundred years later, was painted by Giovanni 
di Cristofano and Francesco d' Andrea in 1480, a record 
of the epoch when Duke Alfonso of Calabria was virtu- 
ally the arbiter of Siena's destinies. It represents the 
battle of Poggio Imperiale, near Poggibonsi, in Septem- 
ber I479> the c hi e ^ action in the war in which Duke 
Ercole of Ferrara held the baton of command of the 
Italian league that defended Florence against the allied 
powers of Rome and Naples, led by the Dukes of 
Calabria and Urbino. In the temporary absence of 
Ercole from the seat of war, Alfonso stormed the camp 
of the league. The painters have represented it as a 
triumph of Siena over Florence. On the left the 
Florentines are flying from the field, their condottiere 
Costanzo Sforza leading the rout, and the standard of 
the red lily is being lowered from every battlement and 
tower. Beneath the banners of the Church, Naples and 
Siena, the allies led by " El Possa," a Sienese named 
Domenico di Michele, who was in the service of the 
Duke 'of Calabria are driving the defeated army before 
them ; in the centre are Alfonso and the Duke of 
Urbino ; reinforcements are advancing on the right, 
while in the background the light armed foot-soldiers 
are sacking the Florentine tents. 

On the wall under the portrait of Guidoriccio is the 

famous old picture of the Madonna from San Domenico, 

by Guido da Siena. The date upon the picture appears 

originally to have been 1281. The frescoes on either 


The Palace of the Commune 

side St Ansanus baptising the Sienese and St Victor 
protecting the shield of Liberty are by Bazzi, painted 
in 1529. The blessed Bernardo Tolomei, founder of 
Monte Oliveto, is also Bazzi's, painted in 1534. These 
three figures with their lovely attendant putti are 
among the finest of his works. Between the next two 
arches are San Bernardino by Sano di Pietro and St 
Catherine by Vecchietta. The last of the series, B. 
Ambrogio Sansedoni, is more modern. .- 

Out of this hall we pass into the Sala della Pace, 
originally called the Sala dei Nove, where the Nine met 
during that most glorious epoch in Sienese history when 
they held sway. In 1337 they appointed Ambrogio 
Lorenzetti to decorate their meeting-place with allegorical 
frescoes. We see the master's signature, Ambrosius 
Laurent'ii de Senis, under the great fresco the first of 
the series on the wall opposite the window. Here on 
our left is Justice, enthroned as Queen, inspired from 
above by the crowned genius of Celestial Wisdom. Over 
her head is the text from the Wisdom of Solomon, which 
Dante's spirits of righteous rulers formed in that sixth 
sphere of Paradise that is swayed by the celestial 
Dominations : " Love righteousness, ye that be judges 
of the earth." On her right and left respectively, 
the Angel of Distributive Justice crowns one and 
beheads another, the Angel of Commutative Justice 
gives weapons to one and money to another. At her 
feet sits Concord, a beautiful woman upon whose 
brow rests the pentecostal tongue of fire ; she holds two 
cords that proceed from the scales of Justice, uniting the 
twenty-four citizens who pass in procession to the feet of 
the Commune of Siena. This is represented by a majestic 
old man, richly clothed in robes that show the black and 
white of the republican shield, royally crowned. The 
mystical cord of union is attached to his sceptre, and in 
his other hand he holds an image of the Blessed Virgin, 


The Story of Siena 

whom the Sienese had chosen for their Sovereign Lady. 
He sits above the Wolf and the Twins. Faith, Hope 
and Charity hover above his head ; Prudence and 
Fortitude, Magnanimity and Temperance are his as- 
sessors. Beyond them, on the right of the throne, 1 
reclines golden-haired Peace, in her clinging white robe ; 
and on the left, Legal Justice sits, with a crown and a 
severed head on her lap. Around are steel-clad warriors, 1 
j^grse and foot the armed forces of the Republic while 
to the gate of the city men come offering " censi, tributi 
e signorie di terre," as one of the verses of the inscrip- 
tion, which is probably Ambrogio's own, puts it ; 
prisoners are led in in fetters, and others are rigorously 
kept excluded for the mediaeval mind can hardly con- 
ceive of good government without fuorusciti. 

On the right wall are shown the effects of good 
government, the rule of Justice. " Turn your eyes to 
gaze upon her who is figured here O ye that rule ! 
and who is crowned for her excellence "; so runs the 
inscription. " Behold what great good things come from 
her, and how sweet and restful is the life of the city where 
that virtue is preserved that gloweth back more than any 
other." Within the city are dancing and feasting ; the 
shops are full and trade flourishes ; cavalcades of dames 
and cavaliers pass through the streets. Beyond the walls 
unarmed trains pass out to the chase; the fields are 
cultivated, the peasants fearlessly bringing their produce 
into the city. In the distance is the sea for the right- 
eous republic will have commerce and become a maritime 
power and a harbour said to represent Talamone. Over 
all hovers Security, a winged woman with a little gallows 
and a scroll : " Without fear may every one travel freely 
and each man work and sow, whilst the Commune will 
maintain this Lady in signory, for she has taken all power 
from the wicked." 

On the opposite wall is Evil Government, the fruits 

The Palace of the Commune 

of Injustice. Tyranny, a hideous horned monster, with 
dagger and poisoned cup, sits enthroned above a goat. 
Avarice, Pride and Vainglory float over him. Foul and 
horrible shapes sit round him as ministers: Cruelty 
(torturing a child), Treason and Fraud, Fury, Division 
and War. At his feet lies Justice dishevelled, over- 
thrown, bound. Murder and outrage wanton within and 
without the walls ; the smiling fields are devastated, 
while at the gate of the ruined, bloodstained city hovers 
the dark and ragged demon of Fear, with a scroll : 
" Through selfish ambition in this city has Justice been 
subjected to Tyranny ; wherefore by this way no one 
passes without dread of death : for without and within 
the gates they plunder." 1 

Beyond the Sala delle Balestre is the Chapel of the 
Palace. The antechapel, the walls and the roof of the 
chapel itself are covered with frescoes by Taddeo di 
Bartolo frescoes that are the first great Sienese achieve- 
ment in painting in the Quattrocento executed between 
1406 and 1414. On the walls and arches of the ante- 
chapel are Roman heroes and philosophers of antiquity ; 
Apollo and Minerva, Jupiter and Mars ; a view of the 
Eternal City ; and, over the door that leads into the room 
adjoining the consistory, a gigantic St Christopher. The 
Sienese claim, not without reason, that Perugino himself 
imitated these frescoes nearly a hundred years later, in 
the Sala del Cambio at Perugia. In the chapel are 
saints and Angels and the four closing scenes of the 
Madonna's life ; her farewell to the Apostles, her death, 
her being carried upon the bier, and lastly her Assumption 

1 The fullest account of these frescoes is contained in 
Milanesi, Commentario alia Vita di Ambrogio Lorenzetti^ Vasari 1. 
pp. 527-535. Apart from the great beauty of the individual 
figures, the spiritual power and imaginative insight of the 
whole conception are surely worthy of the century of Dante 
and Petrarch. But for a very different appreciation, see J^i 
Berenson, ot '/., pp. 50, 51. 


The Story of Siena 

the Divine Son sweeping down with Cherubim and 
Seraphim to draw His Mother from the grave. Among 
all the Italian pictures of the Assumption, Taddeo's 
still can hold its own for its vividness and originality. 
For the rest, the whole chapel is a perfect gem of the 
arts and crafts of the early Quattrocento. The holy 
water stoop is by Giovanni di Turino, the iron railing 
by Giacomo di Giovanni; the beautiful stalls of the 
choir, carved and inlaid with illustrations to the Nicene 
Creed, were executed by Domenico di Niccolo, afterwards 
called Domenico del Coro, between 1415 and 1428, 
and may possibly have been designed by Taddeo di 
Bartolo. Under the Nativity, on the little wooden door 
between the chapel and the Sala di Baha is the Wheel 
of Fortune, on which man is seen transformed to ass as 
he rises, recovering human shape as he falls. To a later 
period belong only the organ with Siena's wolf, which 
is a work of the early Cinquecento, and the altarpiece. 
The latter, by Bazzi and one of his later works, was 
originally in the Duomo ; it represents the Madonna and 
Child with St Joseph and St Calixtus, with a beautiful 
landscape background in which the ruins of ancient 
Rome are seen. "This work," says Vasari, "is like- 
wise held to be very beautiful, inasmuch as one sees that 
Sodoma in colouring it used much more diligence than 
he was wont to do in his things." 

We pass next into a small passage or anteroom, out ot 
which the Sala di Concistoro opens on the left, the Sala 
di Balta on the right. In the former, in the fifteenth 
and sixteenth centuries the Signoria met, the nominal 
governors of the State ; in the latter, the Collegio di 
Balia, the select committee that in reality held the 
Republic in its hands. There are bits of old fresco in 
this waiting room Madonnas and Saints, a kneeling 
magistrate watched over by his celestial patron and 

** "l panels of the Quattrocento ; especially a Madonna 

The Palace of the Commune 

and Child with four Angels in an old frame, dated 1484, 
by Matteo di Giovanni, and San Bernardino preaching in 
the Campo and liberating a possessed woman after his 
death, ascribed by Mr Berenson to Vecchietta. 

The Sala di Concisioro, with a marble doorway 
ascribed to Giacomo della Quercia, has a ceiling covered 
with frescoes by Domenico Beccafumi, painted between 
1529 and 1535 precisely at the time when his rival, 
Bazzj, was working on his saints in the other hall. They 
represent scenes from Roman and Greek history, with 
allegorical figures of Concord and Justice, and are ex- 
travagantly praised by Vasari, who declares that the 
Justice in particular is painted " so powerfully that it is a 
marvel." The foreshortening, the effects of light and 
shade are certainly exceedingly clever ; but it is a little 
too much to say, as Lanzi does, that " Beccafumi should 
be called the Correggio of lower Italy." 

The pictorial decorations of the Sala di Bal\a werp, 
commissioned by the Signoria in 1407, and begurui Balla 
following year. The Virtues on the ceiling ; Sala di 
Martino di Bartolommeo Sensi, a Sienese paintule door 
belonged to the order of the Riformatori and wheel, 
chief works are in the neighbourhood of Pisa, rited to 
scenes on the walls are by Spinello Aretino, the Aretine c 
who ranks as the last of the Giotteschi and who was 
then nearly eighty years old, and his son Parri. They 
represent the life of the great Sienese Pope, Alexander 
III., but are not arranged in chronological order and the 
subjects are frequently doubtful. Among them we may 
notice the Pope giving a blessed sword to the Dogt 
of Venice, Sebastiano Ziani, on the wall opposite the 
first window ; on the entrance wall, the capture of an 
Italian town by the imperialists and the naval victory of 
the Venetians on Ascension Day, 1176, in which the 
Caesar's son Otto was taken prisoner. The latter scenes 
is a splendid rendering of mediaeval naval warfare note-d 


The Story of Siena 

especially, on the right, the episode of the capture of the 
prince and the frenzied efforts of the imperialists to 
rescue him. The second fresco on the arch probably 
represents the recognition of the Pope, when disguised 
as a monk at Venice, by a French pilgrim. On the wall 
opposite the second window is the building of Alessandria 
with its elevation into a Bishopric, and, apparently, the 
humiliation of the Emperor Barbarossa. There is a 
curious representation of the burning of a heretic on the 
arch. Opposite the entrance is the presentation of the 
captured prince to the Pope, and the latter's triumphal 
procession with the Emperor and the Doge leading his 
horse. Beyond is the Sala Monumentale, painted in 
honour of Vittorio Emanuele II. by modern Sienese 
artists with certain great scenes in the story of the unifi- 
cation of Italy the armistice after Novara, the battles 
of San Martino and Palestro, the meeting of Vittorio 
Emanuele and Garibaldi, the Roman Plebiscite and the 
The L ^ tne King. With the impartiality that, in some 
original* is characteristic of modern Italy, Alexander 
Child represented in one of the medallions among the 
landsc? ors ^ t ^ ie political regeneration of his country. 
R onv ~his Sala dt Balia then called the Sala del Papa 
tnere was a notable tragedy enacted in 1455, * n l ^ e verv 
year that the "Magistracy of the Fifteen of the Balia " 
was first instituted originally of fifteen citizens to super- 
intend the prosecution of the war against Piccinino. The 
commander of the Sienese forces, Count Giberto da 
Correggio, was in secret treaty with the enemy, sent him 
supplies while Siena starved, and attempted to occupy 
Grosseto on his own account. The government was 
warned by the officers of the Duke of Milan that their 
general was going to betray them, but the Balia had 
already ample proofs in its hands ; not daring to arrest 
him in the midst of his troops, they waited their time. 
What human cunning could devise no means to do," 

The Palace of the Commune 

writes Malavolti, somewhat sanctimoniously, " was easily 
ordained by the Divine Justice, that seldom suffers such 
enormous crimes to remain unpunished." They heard 
that, on September 6th, the Count would come to the 
city, to demand payment of a large sum of money which he 
claimed from the government. The morning that he was 
expected, the Fifteen met, reviewed the evidence against 
him, and decided upon their measures. The Count 
confidently entered the city with thirty horsemen, rode 
to the Palazzo de' Marescotti (the present Palazzo 
Saracini), where he had apartments, and demanded an 
audience of the Balia. In the evening four nobles of 
the city, with a number of citizens and the trumpeters of 
the Signoria, came to bring him in state to the Palace for 
the audience that he had demanded. The Count and 
his chancellor went up into the chapel, while the doors 
of the Palace were closed and his other attendants detained 
in the Sala delle Balestre. When all was ready, the 
Count was called before the Fifteen in the Sala di Balia 
the Priors being meanwhile assembled in the Sala di 
Concistoro. Perhaps he passed through that little door 
upon which even then was the design of Fortune's wheel. 
With all marks of honour and respect, he was invited to 
seat himselr with the Fifteen, by the side of the Prior of 
the Balia, and questioned about what had gone on in the 
field. He answered insolently and proudly upon which 
he was accused to his face of treason, and the intercepted 
letters shown him that he had interchanged with Piccinino. 
He sprang to his feet : " What ! do you imagine that I 
am a prisoner in your hands?" "Quite otherwise," 
answered Lodovico Petroni, one of the Fifteen, seizing 
hold of his cloak. At the signal armed men rushed in 
they had been lying in wait in the room beyond and 
stabbed him to death. The still quivering body was 
dragged to the window and hurled out on to the pavement 
below. Later on, it w^fcarried to the Duomo and buried 



7 'he Story of Siena 

near the Campanile, without any honour or name to mark 
the spot. That same night the Balla notified to the 
Pope and their other allies what had been done. To 
his Holiness they declared that " this astute seminator of 
evil, this your insidious foe, this traitor to our Republic " 

The Market Place 

had been done to death by the people in a tumult ; to 
the Duke of Milan they sent a piece of his cloak, drenched 
in blood ; to Venice and to Florence they told the truth, 
pleading the sacred duty of saving the State, citing as 
precedents the deaths of Carmagnola and Baldaccio 
d'Anghiari. Pope Calixtus insisted that they should 
justify themselves by publishing the evidence, and when 

Ihe Palace of the Commune 

this was done, on September i8th, he absolved the Fifteen, 
each severally by name. But to the appeal of the Sienese 
envoys for a general absolution for all the people of the 
city, he replied that he could not grant it, " because you 
Sienese would be too strong in Paradise." * 

Two antique coffers in this room one of them with 
the Lupa carved by Antonio Barili are also worthy of 
notice. In the Loggia on the second floor of the 
Palace is a frescoed Madonna and Child by Ambrogio 

The second door to the left of the wolf in the Piazza 
leads, through a picturesque little court covered with old 
frescoes, to a series of rooms on the ground floor, at 
present used by the municipality. In the Sala del Signori 
di Biccherna, the room in which the Camarlingo and 
Quattro Provveditori met, is the Coronation of the 
Blessed Virgin, a fresco painted in 1445 by Sano di 
Pietro. Two of the Angels are holding a scroll with a 
poem, thus blending painting and poetry together in the 
characteristic early Sienese way : " This blessed glorious 
Virgin pure, Daughter of her Son and Spouse and 
Mother because the Eternal Father found her more 
humble than any other person, He giveth her here the 
crown of the Universe. Virgin Mother of the Eternal 
God, by whose holy hands thou art crowned, to thee 
be recommended the devout and faithful city of Siena, 
as it hopeth in thee ; hail, full of grace." The San 
Bernardino on the right is also by Sano. In the same 
room there is a small fresco by Bazzi the Madonna and 
Child with the little St John, St Michael Archangel and 
St Galganus. Like all his work in the Palace it is late, 
about 1537, but, unlike the rest, it is badly drawn and 
carelessly executed. 

In the Stanza del Sindaco there is a much finer fresco 

1 L. Banchi, // Piccinino nello Stato di Siena, etc., loc. cit., pp. 
226-230; Malavolti, iii. 3, pp. 5ib, 52. 


The Story of Siena 

of Bazzi's the Resurrection of Christ, with the three 
Maries approaching through the early spring landscape. 
It was originally painted, probably in 1535, in the place 
where the salt was sold, and was sawn out in the last 
century. Vasari specially praises the beauty of the 
Angels' heads. In another room is a frescoed Madonna 
by Vecchietta. On the ground floor is also the entrance 
to what during the fifteenth century was the Sala del Gran 
Consiglio, but which in the latter part of the sixteenth 
century, after the final fall of the Republic, was converted 
into a theatre. 

At the back of the Palace is the picturesque market- 
place, the Piazza del Merc ato. Out of the market, the 
Via de' Malcontenti and the Via di Porta Giustizia still 
indicate the ways by which condemned prisoners were 
conveyed in carts to the place of execution beyond the 
walls. We know that the feet of St Catherine frequently 
trode this mediaeval via cruets; but it is questionable 
whether the execution of Niccolo di Toldo took place 
in the ordinary spot, as there is frequent record of 
political prisoners being done to death in front of the 
Palace and elsewhere. In his fresco in San Domenico, 
Bazzi seems to identify the place with the little valley 
before us, between the hills of Montone and Santa 
Agata, crowned by the churches of the Servites and 


The Duomo and the Baptistery 

D ISING majestically above Siena, crowned with the 
** mosaic of the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin 
in Paradise, as though to make her seem still floating in 
air over the city that had chosen her for Queen, is the 
vast Duomo. Tradition has it that a temple of Minerva 
once stood upon this hill, and that upon its ruins was 
built the first fane to Maria Assunta^ Our Lady of the 

Some such building had existed from the end of the tenth 
century; but .the present "tiger-striped cathedral," one 
of the most striking examples of Italian Gothic buildings 
in Tuscany, belongs for the most part to the thirteenth and 
fourteenth centuries. The hexagonal cupola was finished 
in 1 264, four years after Montaperti and the year before 
Dante's birth. The Campanile, with its curious turrets 
at the angles, was built in the following century. But 
the original building did not satisfy the Nine and the 
turbulent, prosperous citizens that they ruled. While 
prolonging the Duomo Vecchio, as it was called, to the 
east up to the present Baptistery (in those very years, 
between 1317 and 1321, in which Dante was at 
Ravenna, finishing his Paradiso}, defects were dis- 
covered in the architecture; and in February 1322 
(1321 in the old Siencse style) Lorenzo Maitani, with 
four other masters, proposed to the General Council of 
the Campana that a new cathedral should be erected : 


The Story of Siena 

" we advise that, to the honour of God and of the 
Blessed Virgin Mary, His Most Holy Mother who 
ever was, is, and will be in time to come, the Head of 
this city of Siena there be begun and made a beauteous, 
great and magnificent church, which shall be well-pro- 
pcrtioned in length, height, and breadth, and in all 
measures which pertain to a beauteous church, and with 
all splendid ornaments which pertain to and befit so 
great, so honourable and beauteous a church ; to the 
end that our Lord Jesus Christ and His most holy 
Mother, and His most high celestial court, in that 
church may be blessed and glorified in hymns, and the 
said Commune of Siena be ever protected by them 
from adversity and be honoured perpetually." 1 It was 
decided that the old Duomo should be preserved ; but 
merely as the transept of this new ecclesla pulchra, 
magna et magnified ; and in December 1339 the new 
nave was begun, the architect Pietro di Lando, who 
was then working for King Robert of Naples, being 
summoned back to Siena to superintend, as " a man 
of great subtlety and invention." He was succeeded 
by Giovanni di Agostino ; but the pestilence of 
1348, followed by the fall of the Nine in 1355, caused 
the work to be abandoned. The Sienese turned back 
to their Duomo Vecchio with renewed vigour, and, in 
the early years of the fifteenth century, the great work 
was practically completed before Brunelleschi had 
crowned the rival Cathedral of Florence with his mighty 

Going up the Via di Monna Agnese, or climbing 
the steps from the Baptistery, we pass under a richly- 
worked doorway, in the tympanum of which the Re- 
deemer is enthroned with Angels. This would have 
been a door at the end of the right aisle. As it is, it 
leads us into a spacious piazza, with the Duomo, as at 

1 Documcnti per la Storia deW Arte Senese, i. p. 1 88. 
I 5 

r . 


The Duomo 

present constructed, on our right. On the left is the 
huge unfinished fa$ade of the abandoned Duomo of 
Pietro di Lando and Giovanni di Agostino, with what 
would have been the principal entrance from the Via 
di Citta. The tricuspidate fa$ade of the present cathe- 
dral, in black, white and red marble, covered with 
statuary, was formerly ascribed to Giovanni di Niccolo 
Pisano ; recent research, however, has shown that it was 
mainly constructed in the latter part of the fourteenth 
century, more than fifty years later than the completion of 
Lorenzo Maitani's great work at Orvieto. The majority 
of the statues that we now see are modern copies of the 
originals, and almost the whole has been completely 
restored. The mosaics in the cuspidi are modern 
Venetian work, from the designs of Mussini and 
Franchi. Upon the platform is represented in graffito the 
Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee ; similarly, at 
the three doors, are three scenes from the administration 
of Holy Orders. These were originally executed in 
the sixteenth century, but have been restored and 
altered. Before entering the sacred building, the tablet 
should be noticed, set into the wall of the Vescovado, 
the Archbishop's palace on the left : " Hoc est sepul- 
crum magistri loannis quondam magistri Nicolai et de 
eius eredibus." It is the tombstone of Giovanni Pisano 
himself, who was buried in the cloister of the Canons, 
between the Duomo and the Vescovado. 

The peculiar beauty of the interior of the Duomo is due 
to the fact that we have Gothic architecture, combined 
with decoration that is almost entirely in the style and taste 
of the fifteenth century. Gothic austerity is tempered here 
with the grace and fascination of the early Renaissance. 
The terra-cotta busts of the Popes in the cornice along 
the nave and choir belong to the close of the fifteenth and 
the beginning of the sixteenth centuries. They make a 
strangely impressive series, these crowned Vicars of Christ, 


The Story of Siena 

who Himself is seen in the midst of them, immediately 
under the eastern window. They stretch from Peter in 
a continuous chronological line round the church, to 
Lucius III., who sat on the Throne of the Fisherman 
from 1181 to 1185, succeeding to Alexander III., 
when our Henry II. reigned in England. They are 
solemn and dignified the ideal Pontiffs of the closing 
chapter of Dante's De Monarchia, " who in accordance 
with things revealed should lead the human race to 
eternal life." But there is naturally no attempt or 
thought of portraiture : some of Hildebrand's infamous 
predecessors are conceived and represented in the same 
spirit as he who said : " I have loved justice and hated 
iniquity : therefore, I die in exile." Below them are 
similar busts of Roman Emperors, the supreme temporal 
rulers of the world in Dante's dual scheme, " who in 
accordance with the teachings of philosophy should 
direct the human race to temporal felicity." 

The famous pavement of the Duomo a thing unique 
of its kind might well have paved the first terrace of 
Dante's Mountain of Purgation. The tradition that 
this work was originally designed by Duccio (from 
which it would follow that Dante himself may have 
seen its first beginnings) is now almost entirely rejected. 
Documentary evidence proves that it was not begun until 
the year 1369, shortly after the resumption of work upon 
the Duomo Vecchio. The greater part of it was laid 
down after Giovanni da Spoleto l in 1396 had begun 
publicly to expound the Divina Commedia in the Studio of 
Siena, and we can readily imagine that the men under 
whose superintendence it was done had in their minds 
those superb terzlne in which the divine poet describes the 
figured scenes over which his feet passed to meet that 

1 Not to be confused with the more famous Gregorio da 
Spoleto, Ariosto's master, who held a chair here in the 
latter part of the fifteenth century. 


The Duomo 

creatura bella, the Angel of Humility, whose face waa 
like the morning star. 1 With one solitary exception the 
rout of the Assyrians after the death of Holofernes the 
subjects shown here are not the same as those on Dante's 
duro pavimento. Instead of the examples of the punish- 
ment of pride, we have here a series of scenes which can 
hardly be said to be dominated by one idea, but which 
in the main (a few scenes standing apart, unconnected 
with the general scheme), through symbol, type and 
prophecy, lead up to the Sacrifice of Isaac before the 
High Altar, as mystically representing the Atonement 
of Calvary, renewed daily in the Sacrifice of the Mass. 
In the earliest of these commessi and graffiti, white and 
black marbles alone are used ; later, coloured marbles are 
employed as well, both in shading and in the decorative 
portions. Executed at various dates, for the most part 
in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, they have been 
frequently altered and restored, while in some instances 
modern copies have been substituted for the originals. 
Save in the season of the feast of the Assumption, the 
central portions are kept covered. 

The pavement of the nave and aisles is a preparation, 
in some sort, for the rest. In the nave is first Hermes 
Mercurius Trismegistus, " Contemporaneus Moysi," 
with two disciples symbolical of the mystical wisdom of 
the Ancients, "when sages looked to Egypt for their 
lore." It was executed in 1488 from the designs of 
Giovanni di Stefano. Next conies Siena herself, re- 
presented by the Lupa suckling the Twins, surrounded 
with the heraldic beasts of the allied cities ; this was 
originally executed in 1373, and (unlike the rest of the 
pavement) in mosaic, but the present piece is a modern 
copy. She is followed in token of what her chroniclers 
call her perpetual fidelity to the Caesarian Monarchy 
by a wheel with the Imperial Eagle in the centre, of 

1 Purg. xii. 10-93. 


The Story of Siena 

the same year. Then follow two allegories of human 
life, under the sway of Fortune, " who hath the goods of 
the world so in her clutch." The first is the so-called 
Storia della Fortuna, designed by Pinturicchio in 1505.* 
Fortune has landed ten of her subjects on the shore of 
a solitary island mountain, the paths of which are stony, 
and where reptiles lurk and crawl. Some run stead- 
fastly on to seek wisdom ; one sinks down to rest by 
the way, wearied already of the quest ; one gazes 
longingly back, another shakes his fist at his mistress. 
" But she is blessed and heareth not that," as Dante has 
it, as she spreads her sail to catch the breeze, and steps 
off again into her storm-shattered bark to fetch new 
votaries. Above all change and alien influence, in the 
flowery garden that crowns the mountain like Dante's 
Earthly Paradise, sits Wisdom enthroned, with palm and 
book ; on her right Socrates receives the palm, on her 
left Crates is casting jewels into the sea; the obvious 
meaning being that wisdom can be reached only by 
pursuit of knowledge and contempt of riches. The 
second, an allegory of ambition, a modern copy of a 
work originally executed in 1372, shows a crowned 
king enthroned on the summit of Fortune's wheel ; 
clinging desperately to the sides of the wheel are men 
struggling up to take his place or falling from it, while 
in the corners the sages of antiquity moralise upon the 
scene. On the pavement of the aisles are the ten Sibyls, 
inspired prophetesses of the Incarnation and Redemption 
among the pagans and gentiles. They were laid down 
in 1482 and 1483, under the rectorship of Alberto 
Aringhieri, to whose care so much of the beautiful 
decoration of the Duomo is due; but they have all 
been restored. In the right aisle we see the Delphic 
Sibyl, designed and executed by Giuliano di Biagio 
and Vito di Marco ; the Cumaean Sibyl, ascribed to 

t-Nuovi Documenti per la Storia deW Arte Sencse, p. 389. 
I 5 6 

The Duomo 

Luigi di Ruggiero and Vito di Marco; 1 the Cuman 
Sibyl, with the golden bough and the famous Virgilian 
prophecy, designed and executed by Giovanni di 
Stefano ; the Erythraean Sibyl, designed and executed, 
also signed, by Antonio Federighi ; the Persian Sibyl, 
which appears to be mainly the work of Urbano da 
Cortona. In the left aisle are: the Libyan Sibyl, designed 
by Guidoccio Cozzarelli ; the Hellespontine Sibyl, 
designed by Neroccio di Bartolommeo Landi; 2 the 
Phrygian Sibyl, probably, like her Cimmerian sister, 
designed and executed by Luigi di Ruggiero and Vito 
di Marco ; the Samian Sibyl, designed by Matteo di 
Giovanni and with his signature ; the Albunean Sibyl, 
designed by Benvenuto di Giovanni. 3 These ten figures 
are among the most characteristic products of Sienese 
art of the Quattrocento. 

On the pavement of the right transept we have the 
Seven Ages of Man, a modern copy of what was 
designed and executed by Antonio Federighi in 1475 ; 
the story of Jephthah, by Bastiano di Francesco, between 

1 Mr R. H. Hobart Cust (to whose excellent Pavement Masters 
of Siena I am indebted for many of these dates and authorships 
of the pavement designs) points out that the Cimmerian Sibyl 
is the one intended. 

2 The Lufa and Marzocco shaking hands in front of the tablet 
refers to the alliance between Siena and Florence concluded in 
the year 1483, in which this Sibyl was laid down. In Alle- 
gretto's Dlari Senesi, under June i6th, 1483, we read: "The 
League was proclaimed on a chariot between the Signoria of 
Siena and the Florentines, with honourable conditions, according 
to what Giovan Francesco called 11 Moro, the trumpeter of the 
Signoria, said. God grant it be true ; for I cannot believe 
it I " (D/ar*, 815). 

3 We can measure the proportionate value attached to the 
designing and executing of these works from the fact that in 
the case of the painter Matteo, who only designed and did not 
execute, the remuneration was four /ire, whereas Federighi, who 
both designed and executed his Erythraean Sibyl, received nearly 
650 lire. See Cust op. clt. pp. 41, 47. 


The Story of Siena 

1481 and 1485 ; the Death of Absalom, by Pietro del 
Minella, 1447 ; and the Emperor Sigismund enthroned, 
designed by Domenico di Bartolo in 1434. This 
last is peculiarly interesting as being totally different 
in character from any other of the series, the work of 
a singularly striking and certainly the most isolated 
painter of the Sienese school. We have in all that 
Domenico does a touch of Florentine science and 
realism. In the left transept are the Expulsion of 
Herod, with some spirited fighting in superb Renaissance 
armour, designed by Benvenuto di Giovanni in 1484 or 
1485, with a beautiful frieze of winged lions by Bastiano 
di Francesco ; the Massacre of the Innocents, designed 
by Matteo di Giovanni in 1481, with a frieze of 
children, bacchanals, centaurs and amazons, showing how 
Matteo felt the spirit of the Renaissance more fully than 
any other Sienese painter of his day ; the story of 
Judith, said to have been designed either by Urbano da 
Cortona or Matteo di Giovanni, and executed by 
Federighi in 1473. These three scenes have been 
completely restored. The raised platform in front of 
the choir shows some of the earliest of these graffiti, 
laid down between 1423 and 1426, much damaged and 
restored ; David as the Psalmist and David slaying 
Goliath are by Domenico di Niccolo del Coro, whose 
work we have seen in the chapel of the Signoria ; the 
story of Joshua and the victory of Samson are by Paolo 
di Martino. In the sixteenth century the arrangement 
of the choir was altered, the high altar being removed 
from under the cupola to its present position. Beccafumi 
then set to work to design the graffiti for the pavement 
in accordance with this new arrangement. His work, 
roughly speaking, runs from 1518 to 1546. It com- 
prises the story of Elijah in the hexagonal space below 
the cupola ; the story of Moses between this and the 
platform ; and, before the high altar itself, the Sacrifice 


The Duomo 

of Abraham, with Adam and Eve, Abel, Melchizedek 
and other scenes from the Old Testament, inclosed by a 
frieze representing the Children of Israel going to seek 
the Promised Land. In recent years the Elijah series 
has been completed from designs by Alessandro Franchi. 
Mr Cust remarks that Beccafumi, save in his earlier 
scenes, discards the colours that Pinturicchio had used, 
and "confines himself almost entirely to low tones of 
colour, which shade from one into the other ; and pro- 
duces his effects by a species of chiaroscuro. Instead of 
outlining each piece, or figure, in a single colour, he 
frequently uses, on the same subject, white and two or 
three different shades of pale-coloured grey marble." l 

Just within the great doorway are the sepulchral 
stones of two of the Sienese nobles who fell at Monta- 
perti : Giovanni Ugurghieri and Andrea Beccarini. 
The delicately worked Corinthian columns supporting 
the tribune, the bas-reliefs (by Urbano da Cortona) 
round their pedestals representing scenes from the life of 
the Blessed Virgin, are of 1483. The stained-glass 
window over the portal, representing the Last Supper, 
was designed by Raphael's famous pupil, Perino del 
Vaga, and executed by Pastorino Pastorini in 1549. 
The basins for Holy Water perhaps the most beautiful 
things of their kind in existence are by Antonio 
Federighi ; the pedestal of the one on the right is 
supposed to be a real antique from an altar dedicated to 
Neptune. Near the side-doors are statues of two of 
Siena's seven popes; Paul V. (Camillo Borghesi), who 
pontificated from 1605 to : 62i, noted for his quarrel 
with Venice and for his extravagant ultramontanism ; 
Marcellus II. (Marcello Cervini), a saintly man who 
held the papacy for a few weeks in 1555, and to whose 
memory Palestrina dedicated his famous Mass. 

At the end of the right aisle, over the door of the 
1 Op. dt. p. 152. 


The Story of Siena 

Campanile, is the tomb of Tommaso Piccolomini, 
Bishop of Pienza, who died in 1483, by Neroccio ; 
below it, three on each side, are bas-reliefs by Urbano 
da Cortona, representing scenes from the lives of the 
Madonna and her parents ; that of Joachim among the 
shepherds is full of pastoral charm. The Cappella del 
Voto, in the right transept, glowing with lapislazuli 
and gold, was built in 1661 by Cardinal Fabio Chigi, 
to enshrine the miraculous Madonna the Madonna delle 
Grazie to which the Sienese had paid their vows in 
the days of Montaperti, and which is still credited with 
wonderful powers. The superbly modelled Magdalene 
and Jerome, by Bernini, the great Roman sculptor of 
the seventeenth century, are strongly characteristic of 
that master's exaggerated and emotional, but undeniably 
powerful style. Further on in the transept, Siena's 
first and latest pope face each other; Alexander 
TIL, the Orlando Bandinelli, so frequently mentioned, 
and Alexander VII., the above-named Fabio Chigi, 
who reigned from 1665 to 1667, a good, easy man, 
who loved letters, and of whom the Venetian envoy 
wrote that " he had merely the name of a pope, not 
the substantial power of the papacy." In the Chapel 
of the Blessed Sacrament, let into the wall, are reliefs 
of St Paul and the tour Evangelists, by Giovanni da 
Imola and Giovanni di Tunno. 

Opposite the Cappella del Voto is the Chapel of the 
Baptist in the left transept. It contains, in a richly 
worked reliquary, what is supposed to be one of 
the arms of the Baptist himself, which Pius II. 
presented to Siena in 1464 The chapel was built 
by Giovanni di Stefano, the external marble decora- 
tions being by Lorenzo di Mariano. Of the two 
pedestals that support the marble columns at the 
entrance, the one on the right is a genuine antique, 
which Antonio Federighi bought in exchange for a 
1 60 

The Duomo 

pair of oxen, and the one on the left is his own imitation 
of it. 1 Within, the presiding genius of the place is 
Donatello's St John in bronze, one of the master's 
latest works, full of dramatic expression and the same 
spirit of austere prophecy that we found in the 
Magdalene of the Florentine Baptistery. The marble 
statues of St Ansanus and St Catherine of Alexandria 
are by Giovanni di Stefano and Neroccio respectively ; 
the latter, assigned to the sculptor in 1487, was left 
unfinished at his death. The bas-reliefs of the Font 
representing scenes from Genesis, and two of the labours 
of Hercules are fine and characteristic works of the 
school of Giacomo della Quercia, and should perhaps 
be ascribed to Antonio Federighi. The eight frescoes 
were originally executed by Pinturicchio and his pupils, 
between 1501 and 1504, for Alberto Aringhieri. On 
the left and right of the entrance, by Pinturicchio him- 
self, we see Alberto in youth and age ; first as a young 
knight keeping vigil, then advanced in years, kneeling in 
prayer, in the dress of a knight of Rhodes ; they are 
full of charm, especially the first, in its harmonies of grey 
and red, the highest expression of Sienese chivalry : 

" Unfathomable thoughts with him remain 
Of that great bond he may no more eschew, 
Nor can he say, ' I'll hide me from this chain.' " 2 

The fresco opposite, representing the Birth of the Pre- 
cursor, is also from Pinturicchio's hand. Appropriately 
placed above the two portraits of Alberto are the Vigil of 
St John and his Preaching in the Wilderness ; they are very 
naive and charming, with odd formal trees and land- 
scape against the gold background, and are ascribed by 
Mr Berenson to Baldassare Peruzzi, of whom there is 
documentary evidence that he worked here in 1501; 
they would thus be very early works of his, of the 

1 See Pietro Rossi, VArte Seheie nel Quattroctnto, p. 38. 

2 Folgoie, translated by J. A. Symonds. 

The Story of Siena 

same period as they are in the same style as the little 
Madonna in the Accademia. These four frescoes have 
been repainted. The three that remain have been 
entirely replaced by later work ; the Baptism of Christ 
and the Martyrdom of the Baptist, painted by Francesco 
Rustici at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the 
Saint in Prison, by a modern artist, Cesare Maccari. 

High up to the left of this chapel is the tomb of 
Cardinal Riccardo Petroni, a famous decretalist but a man 
of great charity (in spite of Dante the two things are 
not quite incompatible) in the days of Boniface VIII. It 
is probably by either Tino di Camaino or Gano, and is a 
good example of these sepulchral monuments of the early 
Sienese school, though here, as the monument is to a 
churchman, the religious ideal prevails over the usually 
more secular style. In the left transept are statues of 
the two Piccolomini Popes, Pius II. and Pius III., of 
whom more presently. As far back as the middle of 
the sixteenth century, it was supposed that the highly- 
revered wooden Crucifix, near the statue of Pius III., 
was the one carried by the Sienese at Montaperti. The 
chapel of St Ansanus, opposite that of the Blessed 
Sacrament, has an altar-piece by Francesco Vanni, 
painted in 1596, representing the Saint baptising the 
people of Siena, which is a decidedly favourable specimen 
of the later Sienese school. The bronze relief on the 
pavement, the tomb of a Bishop Giovanni Pecci, who 
died in 1426, is a signed work of Donatello. The 
bas-reliefs let into the wall representing the Annuncia- 
tion, the Nativity, the Procession and Adoration of the 
Magi date from the first half of the thirteenth century ; 
they are specially interesting here as, when compared 
with the great pulpit, they illustrate the state of sculpture 
in Tuscany before the advent of Niccolo Pisano, and 
enable us to realise what Niccolo effected. 

The famous pulpit, by Niccolo and his pupils, was 



The Duomo 

began in 1266, the year after Dante's birth. It marks 
an epoch in the history of Italian sculpture even more 
so than did that earlier one in the Baptistery of Pisa, 
when, in Carducci's splendid phrase, the sculptor saw 
" the new and holy Venus of Italy " rise " from the 
Greek sepulchre of German bones." 1 The sculptures of 
the pulpit at Pisa are imitated from Roman bas-reliefs and 
differ little from the work of Niccolo's predecessors and 
contemporaries, save in their superior technical excellence ; 
but here at Siena we recognise the working of a new 
spirit ; side by side with this close study of antiquity, 
we have a direct return to natural models. 2 The pulpit 
is octagonal, supported by eight pillars at the angles, 
each second pillar resting upon a lion rending his prey, 
or a lioness giving suck to her young ; a central pillar, 
resting on the pedestal, being adorned with eight figures 
representing arts and crafts. The capitals are beautifully 
worked with birds and foliage, and above them are 
figures of the Virtues, while above these again are 
symbolical figures between and uniting the scenes in 
the bas-reliefs. First comes a Sibyl, as announcing the 
great mystery among the Gentiles. Then we have the 
Visitation, Birth of the Baptist, Nativity of Christ, and 
Adoration of the Shepherds with Niccolo's favourite 
troop of goats, one of them leaping up to look at the 
Madonna, just as you may see one doing when a herd is 
driven over the bridge of Spoleto past the shrine. Next 
is a group of Prophets, followed by the Adoration of 
the Magi, a scene which contains some obvious and 
successful attempts at portraiture. At the next angle 
are the Madonna and Child, a very beautiful work 

1 See the fine sonnet sequence entitled Niccola Pisano in Rime : 
Ritmi. The sculptor is said to have copied his Madonna from 
the Phaedra on the antique sarcophagus used as a tomb for the 
Countess Beatrice. 

2 There is an eloquent appreciation of the pulpit in Mr F. M. 
Perkins' Giofto, pp. 8-13. 

l6 5 

?bc Story of Siena 

which may rank as the first Italian masterpiece in this 
kind. After this the Presentation in the Temple, 
Joseph's Dream, the Flight into Egypt are united in 
one history. A group of Angels is next, followed by 
the Massacre of the Innocents, full of movement and 
dramatic vigour. Then comes a symbolical representa- 
tion of Christ as the Redeemer of the World ; He is 
trampling upon two monsters, while a lion crouches at 
His feet (possibly a reference to Psalm xci. 13) ; above 
His head are the Dove, the empty Throne, the hand 
of the Father. The Crucifixion follows, and, after it, 
supporting the reading-desk, the symbols of the four 
Evangelists. Finally comes the Last Judgment in two 
divisions, Christ as Judge appearing in the midst, sur- 
rounded with Angels bearing the emblems and instru- 
ments of the Passion. It is the conventional mediaeval 
representation ; the saved to the right of the Judge, with, 
highest of all, the Madonna in intercession ; the lost to 
the left, with a hideous bestial Satan down in the lowest 
corner ; the dead rising to judgment, the Angels severing 
the wicked from among the just. We find for the first 
time that dramatic motive which became traditional the 
casting out of the hypocritical monk who had tried to 
insinuate himself among the just. Though the forms are 
still stunted, we find unmistakable signs of a new spirit of 
portraiture, and many of the heads are most admirable, 
though here and there facial expression degenerates into 
grimace. At the end of all are three Angels blowing 
the trumpets, as though to announce the accomplishment 
of the great mystery of Redemption that the Sibyl had 

The steps and entrance to the pulpit were added in 
the latter part of the Cinquecento, designed by Barto- 
lommeo Neroni. Against the two last pillars of the 
nave are the poles of the Carroccio of the Sienese at 
Montaperti. Beneath the cupola are gilded statues of 

The Duomo 

Siena's patrons with indifferent late fifteenth century 
frescoes. Until Baldassare Peruzzi altered the arrange- 
ment, the high altar stood here, under the cupola, with 
Duccio's great picture which is now in the Opera del 
Duomo upon it. Thence six bronze Angels, by 
Francesco di Giorgio and Giovanni di Stefano, marshal 
us to the new high altar designed by Peruzzi upon 
which rests the famous bronze tabernacle, executed 
between 1465 and 1472, by Vecchietta. The two 
Angels against the pillars on either side of the altar are 
by Beccafumi, who practised casting in bronze in the 
latter part of his life. The frescoes in the niche behind 
the choir were originally by Beccafumi, painted in 1 544, 
but have been completely repainted and altered ; the 
Assumption is an unimportant Bolognese work. The 
other frescoes, representing the fall of Manna and the 
story of Esther, as also the two groups of Saints and 
Beati of Siena at the sides, were painted by Ventura 
Salimbeni, between 1608 and 1611. The choir stalls 
are partly the work of Fra RafFaello da Brescia in 1520, 
partly from the designs of Bartolommeo Neroni half 
a century later. The intarsia is the work of Fra 
Giovanni da Verona of 1503, the organ-loft over 
the sacristy was executed by the two Barili in 1511. 
There are several old Sienese paintings in the chapter- 
house beyond the sacristy, especially two of San Ber- 
nardino preaching in the Campo and in front of San 
Francesco. Above the choir there is a fine circular 
stained-glass window, representing the Death, Assump- 
tion, and Coronation of the Blessed Virgin, with the 
four Evangelists and four chief early patrons of Siena; 
it was executed by Giacomo di Castello in 1369, 
according to a document recently discovered in the 
Archivio delP Opera del Duomo. 1 

1 V. Lusini, // San Giovanni di Siena, p. Z3 (note}. Giacomo 
was paid 51 golden florins and 34 soldi for his work. 

l6 7 

The Story of Siena 

The left aisle is mainly devoted to the honour and 
glory of the House of the Piccolomini. Enea Silvio 
Piccolomini held the bishopric from 1449 to 1458. 
After his elevation to the papacy he raised the See to 
an archbishopric, and until 1597 it was always in the 
hands of one of his own family. We have, in fact, a 
continuous series of Piccolomini Archbishops of Siena ; 
Antonio Piccolomini, 1458 to 1459 ; Francesco di 
Nanni Todeschini, 1460 to 1501 (when he resigned), 
afterwards Pius III. ; the two nephews of Pius III., 
Giovanni di Andrea Todeschini Piccolomini, 1501 to 
1529, and Francesco di Salustio Bandini, 1529 to 1588 ; 
Ascanio di Enea Piccolomini, 1588 to 1597. After 
the third altar (from the entrance), over which is an 
Epiphany by Pietro Sorri which is almost Venetian in 
colour, is the monument of Alessandro Piccolomini, 
Archbishop of Patras and afterwards coadjutor to 
Archbishop Bandini ; philosopher, poet, and dramatist, 
Alessandro is, unfortunately for his moral reputation, 
best known by his early Dialogo della Bella Creanza 
delle Donne, which in la ^r life he retracted. The next 
altar, that of the Piccolomini, was ordered by the 
Cardinal Francesco di Nanni Todeschini, who, never 
contemplating the possibility of being destined to sit in 
the papal chair, and therefore to rest in the Eternal 
City, intended to be buried here, as the inscription on 
the steps states : " Francesco, Cardinal of Siena, whilst 
still living had this sepulchre made for himself"; and 
over the arch, as his sole title to fame, he has " Fran- 
cesco Piccolomini, Cardinal of Siena, nephew of the 
Supreme Pontiff Pius II." He was a good and learned 
man, who, as we have seen, played a pacific and mode- 
rating part in the turbulent politics of his native city ; 
he was prematurely aged and utterly broken down in 
health when, on the death of the infamous Alexander 
VI., he was elected Pope in September 1503 (much to 
1 68 

The Duomo 

his own dismay) by a sort of compromise between the 
rival factions in the conclave, none of whom could 
secure the elevation of its own candidate, but all 
hoping that there was no prospect of him surviving the 
election very long. " God be thanked," wrote the 
General of the Camaldolese, ** that the government of 
the Church has been intrusted to such a man, who 
is so manifestly a storehouse of all virtues, and the 
abode of the Holy Spirit of God. Under his care 
the Lord's vineyard will no more bring forth thorns 
and thistles, but will stretch out its fruitful branches to 
the ends of the earth." l He took the name of Pius 
III., in memory of his uncle, and declared his intention 
of reforming the Church, beginning with the Pope and 
the Cardinals, and of restoring peace to Christendom. 
But the weight of the great mantle of popedom crushed 
him, and he died in the following month, " not de- 
ceiving," writes Guicciardini cynically, " the hopes that 
had been formed at his election." The altar is in the 
main the work of Andrea Fusina of Milan, and was 
begun in 1485. In 1501 Michelangelo undertook to 
make fifteen statues for the Cardinal, sua manu et opere. 
On the death of the Pope in 1 503, he consigned four of 
these fifteen to his heirs his brothers Giacomo and 
Andrea Todeschini Piccolomini to the mutual satis- 
faction of both parties, and undertook to finish the 
eleven that remained to do within two years, unless 
prevented by accident or illness, or by the war concern- 
ing Pisa hindering the transport of marble from the 
mountains of Carrara to Florence. These four statues 
are apparently the four Saints in the niches on the outer 
framework of the altar, fine figures somewhat in the 

1 Pastor, vi. p, 201. There appears to be absolutely no 
foundation for the aspersions made by Gregorovius and other 
writers upon the moral character of this really admirable 
personage. Cf. op. cit., p. 199 (//). 


The Story of Siena 

style of Donatello's saints outside Or San Michele. 
Of the remaining eleven, the only one that Michel- 
angelo ever executed is that placed on the top to the 
left which is more in his later style. He was some- 
what troubled in his mind on the subject in his old age. 
" Lionardo," he wrote to his nephew, on September 
2Oth, 1561, "I should like you to search among the 
papers of your father Lodovico, for the copy of a con- 
tract in forma camerae made concerning certain figures 
that I promised to continue for Pope Pius II. \_sic~\ 
after his death ; and because the said work, owing to 
certain differences, remained suspended about fifty years 
ago, and because I am old, I should like to settle the 
matter, in order that you may not be troubled about it 
unjustly after I am gone." In another letter from 
Rome, on the last day of November, he tells him that 
the Archbishop of Siena has volunteered to put the 
thing right for him, " and because he is an excellent 
and skilful man, I believe that it will end satisfac- 
torily." l To the right of the altar is a Risen Christ, 
with two adoring Angels, over the monument to the 
Bandini raised by this Archbishop, Francesco Bandini 
Piccolomini ; these figures are also, with some plausi- 
bility, ascribed to Michelangelo. 

The great work in Siena of Pius III. is the famous 
Libreria, which he built as Cardinal for the books and 
MSS. that his uncle had left him. Probably realising 
that he had little time left him to live, he wished to 
erect this monument to his uncle's memory, and in- 
directly to his own. Above the entrance at the end 
of the aisle is a fresco of his own elevation to the 
papacy, painted after his death and after the subsequent 
completion of the work, by Bernardino Pinturicchio. 
The Pope's own figure is partly in relief; on either side 
of him are the Cardinal Giovanni Colonna, who has 

1 Nuovi Documenti, pp. 362, 364-368, 560. 

The Library of the Duomo 

taken off his mitre, and the Cardinal Giovanni Antonio di 
San Giorgio, who is placing the papal tiara upon his head. 
The whole lacks composition, and there is little, if any, 
attempt at portraiture ; but the crowd in the piazza 
includes some beautiful figures and well rendered motives. 
A youth in the foreground is evidently Raphael. Under 
the fresco are Francesco's arms as Cardinal and as 
Pope. The marble work is by Lorenzo di Mariano, 
the admirable bronze doors were executed by Antonio 
Ormanni. 1 

On entering we are at once struck by the dazzling 
profusion of gold and colour, the splendid and opulent 
decorative effect of the whole. In the contract between 
"the most reverend Lord Cardinal of Siena" and 
" Messer Bernardino called II Pinturicchio, painter of 
Perugia," dated June 29th, 1502, "to paint a Library 
placed in the Duomo of Siena," almost as much stress 
is laid upon the " gold, azure, ultramarine, enamel-blue, 
azure-greens and other pleasing colours" as upon the 
ten histories in which he has to paint " the life of the 
Holy Memory of Pope Pius." 2 Francesco was pro- 
bably led to intrust the work to Pinturicchio, rather 
than to a Sienese, because of the splendid work that he 
had just completed in the Vatican for the reigning 
Pontiff (who was hardly destined to leave a santa 
memoria)) Alexander VI. The frescoes were begun 
in 1503, interrupted by the death of Francesco as 
Pius III. (he probably saw none of them), and resumed 
about the beginning of I 506. 

The ten histories on the wall make up an ideal 
representation of the career of a hero of the Renaissance. 
We see Enea Silvio in the first scene, a youth riding a 

1 The bas-relief of St John Evangelist, over the altar to the 
right of the entrance, is the mediocre work of some sculptor of 
the Quattrocento, possibly Urbano da Cortona. 

2 See the document in Milanesi, Vasari III., pp. 51 9-522. 


The Story of Siena 

white horse, starting for Basle to seek his fortunes in the 
great world away from the petty turmoils of his little 
Italian republic, as secretary to the Cardinal Domenico 
Capranica, the dignified ecclesiastic who heads the 
cortege mounted upon a mule. In the background is 
the western side of the bay of Genoa, from which they 
made the journey by land to Basle. In the second, 
riper in years and in worldly wisdom (but less success- 
fully realised by the painter) he is at Edinburgh before 
King James I. of Scotland, to whom he had been sent 
by his new employer, the powerful and influential 
Cardinal of Santa Croce, Niccolo d'Albergata, to per- 
suade him to threaten the Border and so prevent our 
Henry VI. from interfering with the continental peace 
that had been concluded at Arras. This was in 1435. 
In the third, Enea Silvio has mounted a step higher in 
the social scale, being crowned poet laureate by the 
Emperor-elect, Frederick III., who made him one of 
his imperial secretaries in 1442. Hitherto there had 
been an antipapal tendency in the poet's movements ; he 
had been involved in the more or less schismatical 
Council, had been friendly with and on the point of 
entering the service of the Savoyard antipope Felix. 
But Frederick professed neutrality, and the next fresco, 
the fourth, shows us his astute secretary's conversion to 
the papal side. We see him in Rome, in 1445, at the 
feet of Eugenius IV., to whom he had been sent as 
envoy by the Emperor or, as it would be more accurate 
to call him at this epoch, the King of the Romans. 
The two Cardinals in the foreground are said to be his 
two friends in the Sacred College, the Cardinal of 
Amiens and the Cardinal of Como, while the bearded 
prelate, the third on our left, is the famous platonist, 
Johannes Bessariou of Trebizond. This marks a turning 
point in Piccolomini's career ; he turned away from 
his pagan, licentious life to the study of theology, de- 

The Library of the Duomo 

finitely entered the Church, and set before his eyes 
two great objects : the unity of Roman Catholicism, 
the rolling back of the tide of Turkish invasion. 1 There 
can be little question that hope of advancement was his 
chief motive in this conversion, but his after life as an 
ecclesiastic seems to show that the nobler spiritual im- 
pulse was not altogether lacking. "To him," writes Dean 
Kitchin, " more than to any man is due the successful 
healing of the schism of the West." In the next, the 
fifth fresco, which after the first is the most beautiful of 
the series, he is Bishop of Siena, presiding at the meeting 
of the Emperor and his bride Leonora of Portugal 
outside the Porta Camellia, on February 24th, 1452. 
Behind the Emperor stand Duke Albert of Austria 
and the young King Ladislaus of Hungary and 
Bohemia. We read that the Emperor showed consider- 
able nervousness as he waited for his bride, whom he 
had never seen before. " At first," writes Enea Silvio 
himself in his History of Frederick, " the Caesar turned 
pale, when he saw his bride coming in the distance. 
But when she drew near, and he beheld more and more 
her beautiful face and her royal bearing, he became him- 
self again and his colour returned, and he waxed merry, 
for he found his lovely bride was even more lovely than 
report had made her, and he perceived that he had not 
been deceived by words, as often happens to princes 
who contract marriages by procurators." 2 The fall 
of Constantinople in 1453 gave Bishop Enea the op- 
portunity of coming forward as the champion of the 
cause of Christendom against the Moslem, the eloquent 
advocate of a new crusade. In the sixth history, he 
receives the Cardinal's hat from Calixtus III. in 1456 ; 
two Greek prelates stand conspicuously in the foreground, 
while Bessarion appears again on our right ; though not 

1 Cf. G. W. Kitchin, Pofe Pius II. , p. 36. 
a Historia Friderici III. Imp. , p. 73. 


The Story of Siena 

very like his authentic portrait by Pinturicchio in the 
Vatican, the Cardinal standing at the Pope's right hand 
is probably intended for his abominable nephew Roderigo 
Borgia, afterwards Alexander VI., with whom Enea at 
this time was on friendly terms. Then, in the seventh, 
the hero has reached the goal of his earthly ambition, and 
becomes Pope Pius II. on September 3rd, 1458. He is 
being carried in procession to give his benediction to the 
City and the World, while the Master of the Ceremonies 
burns a piece of tow before him, with the traditional 
warning : Sancte Pater, sic transit gloria mundi. Two 
Orientals are there to represent the Eastern Question, 
that the new Pontiff had made his own. The eighth 
fresco represents the opening of Congress of Mantua, 
in 1459, where Pius in vain strove to rouse the powers 
of Christendom to concerted action ; as the fresco ap- 
propriately lets us perceive, the Pope himself and the 
suppliant Christians of the East are the only people in 
earnest in the matter. Then, in the ninth, he gratifies 
alike his national pride for the glory of Siena and his 
own heart by the canonisation of St Catherine, whose 
crusading zeal had anticipated his own. There is an 
interesting group of portraits below on our left, the two 
most conspicuous figures being Raphael and Pinturicchio 
himself, holding lighted tapers, while the two beyond 
Pinturicchio, with their backs turned to us, are probably 
his assistants, Eusebio di San Giorgio and Bembo 
Romano. Last of all, in the tenth fresco, Pius is at 
Ancona, come to head the crusade. He was dying, 
kept alive only by his indomitable enthusiasm, when 
he reached the city in July 1464, only to find that 
there were none to support him. In August the fleet 
of Venice appeared upon the scene. The Pope was then 
on his deathbed ; but the painter, departing from historical 
fact, has represented him carried down to the harbour to 
meet the Doge, Cristofero Moro, who is shown kneel- 

The Library of the Duomo 

ing before him, but who in reality never landed until the 
Pope had passed away. So faded a heroic dream. " It 
has pleased God," wrote the Senator of Rome, Guido 
di Carlo Piccolomini, to the Signoria of Siena, on 
August 1 5th, " this night, at the third hour, to call to 
Himself the blessed soul of the happy memory of Pope 
Pius. It is a little consolation to us in so great a loss 
that, being mortal like other men, he has died the most 
glorious Pontiff that for a very long time has sat in that 

In spite of the express stipulation in the contract that 
Pinturicchio " shall be bound to make all the designs of 
the histories with his own hand, in cartoons and on the 
walls, and to paint all the heads of the figures in fresco 
with his own hand," Vasari declares that the designs and 
cartoons for all the scenes were drawn by Raphael, then 
a youth. This view, though once scouted by serious 
historians of Italian art, is winning ground again in a 
modified form at least so far as the first and fifth, the 
journey to Basle, and the meeting of the Caesar with 
Leonora, are concerned, for both of which there exist 
what seem to be authentic drawings from Raphael's hand 
at Florence and Perugia respectively. 2 The mythological 
and allegorical devices on the ceiling, the arabesques and 
grotesques in the pilasters between the histories with the 
six times repeated twin cherubs supporting the arms of 
the Piccolomini, are by Matteo Balducci and other 
pupils and assistants of Pinturicchio. The famous marble 
group of the Three Graces, one of the first antiques to 
be worshipped in the days of the Renaissance, was 
brought hither by the Cardinal Francesco ; from it 
Raphael made his first studies of ancient sculpture. Here, 
too, are several superb choir books, with miniatures by 

See Misc. Storica Senese, IV. 7-8. 

2 The question is well discussed in Miss E. March Phillipps* 
monograph on Pinturicchio, pp. 116-123 


The Story of Siena 

Sano di Pietro, Girolamo da Cremona, Liberale da 
Verona, and others. The sculptured woodwork is by 
Antonio Barili. The Adam and Eve over the door is 
a meritorious production of the school of Giacomo della 

Over the door of the right transept, outside the 
Cathedral, is a very beautiful sculptured medallion of 
the Madonna and Child with Angels. It is ascribed 
by M. Reymond to Donatello. 

In what would have been a part of the right aisle of 
the larger Duomo, is the Opera del Duomo, the Cathedral 
Museum. On the ground floor is a room containing 
some of the original graffiti from the pavement, where 
these have been replaced by copies, and some of the 
statues from the fa$ade Here, too, in a mutilated con- 
dition, are Giacomo della Quercia's reliefs from the 
Fonte Gaia : the Madonna and Child ; the Virtues ; 
the Creation of Adam and the Expulsion from Paradise 
(masterpieces which even in their ruin are superb), and 
less important fragments. There is a striking Moses, 
from a fountain in the Ghetto, probably by Federighi 
but scarcely unworthy of Giacomo himself. Also by 
Federighi are the bas-reliefs from the chapel in the 
Campo. A St John in terra-cotta by Giacomo Cozzarelli 
and a Transfiguration by Girolamo Genga of 1 5 1 o are 
also worthy of note. On the first floor, beyond the 
hall where designs and models are exhibited connected 
with the restoration of the pavement, is a small room 
containing original designs. Two, at least, are of first 
importance ; the design for the faade of the Baptistery 
of Siena, by Giacomo di Mino del Pellicciaio (20) ; an 
old drawing said to represent Giotto's original design for 
the Campanile of Florence (34), crowned with the 
steeple that according to Vasari was abandoned " because 
it was a German thing and of antiquated fashion." 
There are also plans connected with the building of the 

The Opera del Duomo 

Duomo (e-g- 60), and a curious sketch (33) for the 
suggested portico to the Campo, said to have been in- 
vented for Pandolfo Petrucci by Peruzzi and designed by 
a certain Pomarelli. On the stairs are the Baptism of 
Christ, by Andrea del Brescianino and his brother 
RafFaello, formerly in San Giovanni, and a modern plan 
of the abandoned enlargement of the Duomo. 

In the gallery of the second floor is what may, 
perhaps, be taken as the supreme picture of the Middle 
Ages ; the famous ancona which Duccio di Buoninsegna 
painted for the high altar of the Duomo. " It was 
the most beautiful picture that was ever seen or made," 
wrote the contemporary chronicler, Andrea Dei. " It 
cost more than three thousand golden florins, and Duccio 
the painter laboured many years in doing it." Docu- 
mentary evidence shows that he took less than three 
years over the work ; it was assigned to him on October 
9th, 1308, and it was borne in triumph to its place on 
June 9th, 1311. To place it accurately in the story of 
mediaeval art, we may remember that Giotto had already 
painted his earlier works and was probably then engaged 
upon his frescoes in the Arena at Padua, while it was 
precisely in these years that Dante was labouring upon 
his Inferno and hailing with fierce exultation the advent 
of a political Messiah in the person of Henry of Luxem- 
burg. A public holiday was proclaimed when it was 
completed. With ringing of bells from churches and 
palaces, the musicians of the Signoria marching in front 
with trumpets, drums and tambourines, the picture was 
solemnly carried in triumph from the painter's workshop 
through the Via di Stalloreggi, along the Via di Citta, 
then down and round the Campo, and up again to its 
place in the Duomo. " On the day that it was carried 
to the Duomo," writes an anonymous chronicler who 
was probably present, "the shops were shut; and the 
Bishop bade that a goodly and devout company of priests 
M 177 

The Story of Siena 

and friars should go in solemn procession, accompanied 
by the Signori Nove and all the officers of the Commune 
and all the people ; all the most worthy followed close 
upon the picture, according to their degree, with lights 
burning in their hands ; and then behind them came the 
women and children, with great devotion. And they 
accompanied the said picture as far as the Duomo, 
making procession round the Campo as is the use, all 
the bells sounding joyously for the devotion of so noble a 
picture as is this. And all that day they offered up 
prayers, with great alms to the poor, praying God and 
His Mother who is our advocate, that He may defend us 
in His infinite mercy from all adversity and all evil, and 
that He may keep us from the hands of traitors and 
enemies of Siena." 1 

In those days, as already remarked, the high altar 
stood under the cupola, and the picture was painted on 
both sides. They have been separated and otherwise 
mutilated ; several smaller scenes have disappeared, and 
the whole has suffered from neglect and from restoration ; 
but still, rich with gold and the bright colours that the 
sumptuous Sienese loved, it remains a supreme manifesta- 
tion of the soul of mediaeval faith. In the great central 
panel is the vision of the immaculate Virgin Mother 
Queen of Heaven and Earth with her Divine Babe, " a 
beauty that was joy in the eyes of all the other saints," as 
Dante has it; while Angels, "each distinct in splendour 
and in art," their brows decked with such jewels as the 
seer of Patmos saw in the New Jerusalem of his revelation, 
cluster round her throne, bearing the mystical wands that 
end in the symbol of the Blessed Trinity. The Prince of 
the Apostles, the two Johns, the virgin martyrs Agnes 
and Catherine, stand in contemplation, while at their 

1 Anonymous Chronicle existing in the Archivio di Stato and 
the Biblioteca Comunale, quoted by Lisini, Notizie di Duccio, 
p. 5. 

I 7 8 

The Opera del Duomo 

Queen's feet kneel Siena's sainted patrons : Crescentius 
and Victor, Savinus and Ansanus. And their prayer is 
the painter's own, that he has inscribed upon the base of 
the throne : " Holy Mother of God, be Thou the cause 
of rest to Siena, be life to Duccio because he has painted 
Thee thus." The original back of this panel represents 
the Passion of Christ in twenty-six scenes, from the entry 
into Jerusalem to the Noli me tangere and the appearing 
to the two on the way to Emmaus. There are, further, 
eighteen separate scenes of different shapes and sizes, 
originally forming part of the whole (including the 
pradino, back and front), of different episodes from the 
lives of Christ and the Madonna. No more perfect 
illustration of these sacred histories, from the point of 
view of mediaeval tradition, has ever been painted. 
Duccio anticipates Raphael, in that side of his achieve- 
ment in which the great master of Urbino, by the illustra- 
tion that (with his followers) he supplied to religious 
history and legend, " has given an Hellenic garb to the 
Hebraic universe." 1 But he is almost untouched by the 
new spirit that was manifesting itself in Giotto's panels 
and frescoes. "Duccio," says Mr Berenson, "properly 
regarded, is the last of the great artists of antiquity, in 
contrast to Giotto, who was the first of the moderns." 2 
There are also in this gallery : St Paul enthroned, his 
conversion and 'martyrdom being seen in the background, 
by Beccafumi ; St Jerome, by Giovanni di Paolo ; the 
legend of the Finding of the Cross by St Helena and its 
recovery from the Persians by Heraclius, by Pietro 
Lorenzetti ; four Saints (69, 70, 72, 73) by Ambrogio 
Lorenzetti ; a predella by Matteo di Giovanni ; the 
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin (63), an admirable picture 
by Pietro Lorenzetti, signed and dated 1342 ; a Madonna 
and Child with Saints (64), by Matteo di Giovanni; St 

1 Berenson, Central Italian Painters, p. 117. 
a Of. eit. t p. 41 (note). 


The Story of Siena 

Antony of Padua (14), by Matteo Balducci ; the 
apparition of St Francis to St Antony (62), by Giovanni 

di Paolo ; nine scenes 
illustrating the Credo, 
by Taddeo di Bartolo; 
a quaint Madonna 
lattante, with Angel 
Musicians (59), by 
Gregorio da Siena, of 
1323. Here also is 
preserved the episcopal 
ring of Pius II. In 
the further portion of 
the hall are embroi- 
dered vestments and 
other articles of church 
furniture. A door at 
the end admits you 
into the unfinished 
fa$ade. A series of 
narrow winding stairs 
leads up to the very 
top of it, with a superb 
view of Siena and the 
country round. 

Under the Duomo to 
the east is the Baptistery, 
San Giovanni di Siena, 
a construction of the 
same epoch as the 
Cathedral itself. The 
fa9ade was begun in 1317, modified in 1382 from 
the design of Giacomo di Mino del Pellicciaio, but 
left unfinished. On the pavement in front of the 
three doors are three scenes in graffito representing 
the birth of a child, the sacrament of Baptism, the 
1 80 

Steps beside the Baptistery 

The Baptistery 

administration of Confirmation; they were laid down 
in the middle of the fifteenth century, the one in the 
centre (the Baptism) being designed and executed by 
Antonio Federighi. The interior has been completely 
restored. The Baptismal Font, which includes a taber- 
nacle for preserving the holy oils, is one of the earliest 
masterpieces of the sculptural art of the Quattrocento, 
showing, in its architectural details, the transition from 
the Gothic to the style of the early Renaissance. The 
design of the whole is due to Giacomo della Quercia, 
the marble work being executed by his pupils. On the 
six sides of the font are six bronze bas-reliefs, represent- 
ing scenes in the life of the Baptist, separated by six 
niches enshrining bronze figures of the Virtues. In 1417 
the Operaio of the Duomo assigned two of these six bas- 
reliefs to Giacomo della Quercia, two to Turino di 
Sano and his son Giovanni, two to the great Florentine 
Lorenzo Ghiberti the fame of whose nearly completed 
bronze door (the first of the two that he cast) was then 
ringing through Tuscany. Giacomo della Quercia 
showing himself tardy and preoccupied as usual with other 
commissions, one of his two histories was assigned to 
Donatello instead, in 1421. By 1427 the series was com- 
plete, and the Signoria forced Giacomo to return from 
Bologna, at the instance of the authorities of the Duomo, 
in the following year to bring the whole work to an end, 
which was done by I434- 1 The histories begin opposite 
the altar. The Apparition of the Angel to Zaccharias 
in the Temple is by Giacomo della Quercia, a fine 
example of the simplicity of means with which the great 
sculptor of Siena obtains his effects, with no unnecessary 
figures, disregarding all but what is essential. The 

1 In the Appendix to V. Lusini, // San Giovanni di Siena, there 
are a number of interesting letters about the progress, etc., of the 
work, from Ghiberti to the Operaio del Duomo and Giovanni di 
Turino, and from Giacomo to the Signoria. 


The Story of Siena 

Justice and Prudence on either side of it, as also the Birth 
of the Precursor and the Preaching in the Wilderness, 
are by the two Turini the bas-reliefs being excellent 
works, fully worthy of their place in the series. The 
Fortitude between them is four years later, having been 
cast in 1431 by Goro di Neroccio. The following 
statue, Charity, is by Turino. The Baptism of Christ 
and John before Herod are both by Lorenzo Ghiberti, 
finished in 1427. These two admirable reliefs, as M. 
Reymond observes, represent the transition from the 
style of Ghiberti's first bronze door in Florence to 
that of his second, the disposition of the figures and 
the absence of perspective in the scene before Herod 
resembling the style of the first door, while the group of 
Angels attending upon the Saviour in the Baptism heralds 
the triumph of that second door which Michelangelo 
was to declare worthy to be the portal of Paradise. 
The beautiful, expressive figures of Faith and Hope are 
Donatello's. By Donatello, too, is Herod's Feast, a 
masterpiece full of energy and dramatic expression. 
Although both Ghiberti and Donatello dispose their 
figures on different planes so as to give the bas-relief the 
appearance of a picture in bronze, their methods show 
one notable point of contrast ; Ghiberti gains depth by 
detaching his front figures almost in full relief, while 
Donatello produces a similar effect more by effacing those 
in the distance. 1 The four charming little pittti in bronze 
upon the tabernacle, " certi fanciullini ignudi," as the 
record of payment styles them, are also by Donatello. 
The five marble figures in the niches of the tabernacle 
are by Pietro del Minella, the bronze Madonna and 
Child by Giovanni di Turino. The statue of the 
Baptist surmounting the whole was probably designed 
by Giacomo and executed by Pietro del Minella. 

The frescoes of the Baptistery for the most part 

1 Cf. M. Reymond, op. /., II. p. 98. 

The Baptistery 

belong to the middle of the fifteenth century. The 
three miracles of St Antony of Padua under the arch to 
the left of the chief altar, the Articles of the Creed in 
the vaulting, are by Vecchietta who began to paint here 
in 1450, and was assisted in 1453 by his young pupil, 
Benvenuto di Giovanni. The paintings behind the chief 
altar, representing the Annunciation, the Passion, the 
Assumption, appear to be by a certain Michele Lam- 
bertini of Bologna, a few years earlier. The Christ in 
the house of Simon, under the arch to the right, was 
painted in 1489 by Pietro di Francesco degli Oriuoli, a 
Sienese artist of much reputation in his day, who died in 

1 Cf. Documents concerning the authorship of this fresco in 
Lusini, of. cit, p. 60 (note). 

In the Footsteps of St Catherine 

"IN the name of God, Amen. To the honour and 
praise and reverence of God, and of His Mother, 
Madonna Holy Mary Virgin, and of all the Saints of 
God, and to the honour and exaltation of the Holy 
Roman Church, and of the Commune and of the People 
of the City of Siena, and to the good and pacific state and 
to the increase of the Spedale of Madonna Holy Mary 
Virgin of Siena, which is placed in front of the chief 
church of the said City, and of the Rector and Brothers 
of the Chapter of the said Spedale, and to the recreation 
of the sick and poor and foundlings of the said Spedale." 
Thus open the Statutes of 1305 of the famous Spedale 
of Siena, the united hospitals of Santa Maria della Scala. 
The buildings occupy the whole side of the Piazza del 
Duomo opposite the fa$ade. According to the legends, 
the Spedale was founded at the end of the ninth century 
by a cobbler named Sorore, who began by lodging 
pilgrims who passed through Siena on their way to Rome, 
and mending their shoes, then nursing those of their 
number who fell sick by the way, and ended by 
founding a sort of order or company of men the " Frati 
Ospitalieri" to carry on his work. Thus began the 
hospital for the sick ; while a dream of a devout woman, 
who saw upon this spot a ladder reaching up to Heaven, 
and little children passing up it into the arms of the 
Blessed Virgin, caused a home for foundlings to be united 

The Spedale 

to it. Modern writers, however, question the existence 
of the Beato Sorore, and assign the foundation of the 
Spedale to the eleventh century. 1 Be that as it may, 
throughout the whole course of Sienese history the 
Spedale has a sublime record of devotion and charity, 
especially in those terrible epochs that recurred again 
and again at intervals when the pestilence and black 
death devastated Siena. Its revenues were largely in- 
creased by donations from the Bishops, by papal com- 
mutations of vows, and by bequests from victims of the 
pestilence who, having lost their natural heirs, bequeathed 
all that they had to the institution. The order of the 
" Frati Ospitalieri " was reformed in the thirteenth, and 
lasted on till the end of the sixteenth century. The 
Rector of the Spedale, in the days of the Republic, 
had the right of sitting in the Consistory with the 

Beyond the entrance-hall is a large room known as 
the Pellegrinaio, because originally intended for the 
reception of pilgrims, with a pleasant view from the 
window at the end. The walls and ceiling are covered 
with frescoes those on the walls being practically 
unique in the story of Sienese art. They represent 
scenes from the history and illustrate the work of the 
Spedale. On the right are three by Domcnico di 
Bartolo. They represent the marrying of the maidens, 
with the Baptism of the children and their nursing (1440) ; 
the giving of alms (1443) ; the care of the sick and 
diseased (1440). We are struck at once by their realism, 
which we shall find nowhere else in Sienese painting ; 
some of the heads are powerful, there is excellent group- 
ing and a study of Sienese costumes in the Quattrocento 
which is of no small value to the student. But withal 
there is a certain uncouthness, at times exaggerated to 
the verge of grotesqueness. The painter is following 

1 See Alessio, Storia di San Bernardino, p. 60 (and note). 

l8 5 

The Story of Siena 

the Florentine methods, but is not fully equipped with 
Florentine science ; the nude figure which we see in 
the foreground of the second fresco is a striking innovation 
in a Sienese picture, but it will not stand the comparison 
which it inevitably invites with the naked youths in 
Masaccio's famous scene of St Peter baptising in the 
Carmine of Florence. The two frescoes on either side 
of the window are unimportant. Then, on the left wall, 
is another by Domenico di Bartolo (1443), fairly well 
preserved, representing the granting of privileges to the 
Spedale, in the person of its Rector, by Celestine III. ; 
a magnificent young Sienese gentleman in the costume of 
the fifteenth century stands in the centre of the picture. 
The next fresco, the entry into the Spedale and a lady 
of Siena taking the robe of the order, is by Priamo di Pietro 
della Quercia, the brother of the more famous Giacomo ; 
it is somewhat in the style of Domenico, but with more 
than his uncouthness and falling a long way below his 
excellence. Following that, by Domenico di Bartolo, 
badly preserved, is the increase of the buildings of the 
Spedale with alms given by the Bishop, the group of 
horsemen approaching, and nearly riding down the 
builder, being presumably fresh benefactors inspired by 
the episcopal example. The fresco over the door on 
the left is by Vecchietta and represents the " Scala del 
Paradise," the dream of the devout woman, in which 
the little deserted children are seen mounting up the 
ladder to be received into the arms of the Mother 
of God. 

There are other frescoes of less importance in other 
parts of the Spedale. In the room on the left of the 
entrance is a fresco by Beccafumi, one of his early works, 
painted in 1512, representing the meeting of Joachim 
and Anne. The Infirmary of San Pietro has unim- 
portant frescoes by Vecchietta, and (inclosed in a 
tabernacle) the "Madonna of Mercy," by Domenico 
1 86 

The Spedale 

di Bartolo. In the Infirmary of San Pio a " Beato 
Sorore " is likewise ascribed to Domenico, and in the 
Infirmary of San Galgano is a Crucifixion by Taddeo 
di Bartolo. The church of the Spedale, dedicated 
to the Madonna of the Annunciation, was built in the 
fifteenth century. The bronze Christ over the high 
altar is by Vecchietta ; the organ is said to have been 
designed by Peruzzi. 

In the vaults under the Spedale are the meeting-places 
of several devout confraternities, which are said to trace 
their origin from the first Sienese Christians, the converts 
of St Ansanus, who met in secret on this spot in the 
days of the Roman persecutions. You enter by the last 
door in the Piazza. The chapel of Santa Maria sotto le 
Volte dello Spedale, now sometimes called Santa Caterina 
delle Notti, was the oratory of the " Disciplinati of the 
Virgin Mary of the Spedale." St Catherine was inti- 
mately associated with this confraternity, which was 
conspicuous for its active works of charity, and to which 
a number of her disciples belonged. One of her latest 
letters was written from Rome to the Prior and 
Brothers of the Company. 1 It was whilst praying here 
in 1380 that Stefano Maconi heard a voice in his heart 
telling him that Catherine was dying, and he at once 
hastened to Rome to receive her last injunctions. In a 
little cell, adjoining the oratory, St Catherine passed long 
hours in prayer, and from it she assisted at the offices of 
the Disciplinati. Here is still shown the hard bed of 
stone upon which she slept, in the intervals of tending 
the sick at the hospital. In a room beyond, belonging 
to the confraternity of St Catherine, are some pictures ; 
a Madonna and Child with Saints by Taddeo di Bartolo, 
and four small paintings, much restored, in the manner 
of Girolamo del Pacchia. One of the latter represents 
the members of the confraternity dressed as you may still 
1 Letter 311. 


The Story of Siena 

see them at the door of St Catherine's house on the day 
of her festa. Before reaching the oratory, another flight of 
steps to the left leads down to the meeting-place of the 
Confraternity of the Madonna. Here are a number of 
pictures, including a Holy Family by Bazzi; St Catherine 
leading Pope Gregory back to Rome (though, as a matter 
of fact, she was present only in spirit) by Benvenuto di 
Giovanni ; a Madonna and Child with Saints by Sano 
di Pietro. Hung very high up are two small triptychs 
the one representing the Crucifixion, Flagellation, 
Entombment the other the Blessed Virgin with the 
two Catherines and other Saints. Mr Berenson ascribes 
them to Duccio and Fungai respectively. Beyond is 
the chapel of the confraternity, with remains of frescoes 
by some pupil of Ambrogio Lorenzetti. 

San Bernardino commenced his religious life as a 
member of this confraternity of Our Lady's Discip- 
linati. When the pestilence broke out anew in 1400, 
and the Spedale was overwhelmed with the sick and 
the dying, Bernardino collected a band of young men 
to aid the Rector in his task, and devoted himself to the 
plague-stricken for four months, while his cousin, Tobia, 
attended to the women. 

From the back of the Spedale the Via di Valle Piatta 
leads to the little church of San Sebastiano, the oratory 
of the Contrada della Selva. Its interior is in the form 
of a Greek cross. It was built by Girolamo di 
Domenico Ponsi, at the end of the fifteenth century, and 
its sacristy contains Madonnas by Matteo di Giovanni 
and Benvenuto. The adjoining convent, originally of the 
Gesuate, has since 1818 been the Foundling Hospital 
Ospizio dei Gettatelli. 

From the Via di Valle Piatta the steep Via del 

Costone winds down the side of the hill upon which 

the Duomo and Spedale stand, to the Fontebranda. 

Let us take this way into the valley for we shall be 



treading in the steps of St Catherine. Here, in her 
sixth year, she was returning with her brother from a 
visit to their sister Bonaventura, whose husband had a 

house near the Tower of St Ansanus, and had reached 
the turning at which the great red brick mass of San 
Domenico first becomes fully visible rising up grandly 
on the brow of the opposite hill, over the humble valley 
of the tanners and dyers. A shrine and a faded fresco 


The Story of Siena 

on the left at the corner still mark the spot of her fiist 
vision. " She saw in the air, above the church of the 
Friars Preachers of Siena, our Saviour seated on a 
wondrous throne, robed as Sovereign Pontiff, accom- 
panied by the Holy Apostles. He gazed lovingly and 
smilingly upon her, and with His holy hand making 
the sign towards her of the most holy Cross, He blessed 
her." i 

At the foot of the hill is the famous Fontebranda, 
with its colonnade of three arches and its four lions' 
heads. Although the first certain mention of it is in 
a document of 1081, and in its present form it only 
dates from the middle of the thirteenth century, the 
fountain has been famous throughout Tuscany from time 
immemorial. Possibly, when Siena was the Roman 
colony of the Sena Julia, the soldiery of the legions 
drank from its waters ; before them, the fair-haired 
Senonian Gauls if we accept that form of the legend 
of the foundation of the city may have lingered a 
moment by it as they followed Brennus in his march to 
Rome. It hardly needs the adventitious fame that has 
accrued to it from the supposition stated as a fact by 
the earliest commentators, but at present generally re- 
jected by scholars that it is the Fonte Branda recorded 
by Dante in the thirtieth canto of the Inferno, for whose 
waters, even to cool the burning thirst of Hell's foulest 
circle, Maestro Adamo would not have given the sight 
of his aristocratic seducers sharing his agony. There 
is a curious tradition that certain streets of Siena were 
or possibly still are infested by were-wolves, who rush 
through the city at night, and throw themselves into 
Fontebranda to recover human form. 2 Be that as it 
may, Fontebranda gives its name to the whole of the 
picturesque district " il Rione di Fontebranda " below 

1 Levgenda minore, i. 2. 

8 Rondoni, Tradizioni fopolari e leggende, etc., p. 150. 

The House of St Catherine 

the two hills upon which the Duomo and San Do- 
menico respectively stand. The valley is still, as in 
St Catherine's days, the haunt of the tanners and the 
dyers, and redolent of that peculiar odour of the curing 
of hides that ever after haunts the lover of Siena. 

The steep Via Benincasa once the Via de' Tintori 
leads up from Fontebranda into the town. It is the 
headquarters of the most typical and vivacious of the 
Sienese contrade the " Nobile Contrada dell* Oca." 
A few houses up the street, on the left, is a graceful 
building in the style of the early Renaissance, which now 
occupies the site of the house of Giacomo Benincasa : 
the Oratorio di Santa Catenna in Fontebranda. " Many 
from beyond the mountains," so runs an entry in the 
Libra del decreti di Concistoro, at the time when 
Catherine's canonisation was in progress at Rome, 
" French, Venetians, Romans and of other nations who 
have come to your city, have with great diligence asked 
for the house where dwelt in your city the blessed 
Catherine of Siena ; and they have gone to it with 
great reverence and devotion, kneeling down in many 
places and kissing the walls and the door, saying with 
many tears : Here she stood and touched, that precious 
vessel and gift of God, blessed Catherine of Siena, who 
in her life did so many miracles. And many have 
wondered that the Commune of Siena in that place has 
not made some temple to the praise of God and honour 
of that Spouse of Christ." * The house had passed 
through many hands since the death of St Catherine 
(who, during the latter part of her life, lived with her 
mother in another house in the present Via Romana), 
and was then in a ruinous condition, as the document just 
quoted goes on to state. But in 1464 the inhabitants of 
the Costa Fontebranda petitioned the Signoria to buy 
the house, offering themselves to pay all the rest of the 

1 Nuwi Document}, pp. 240, 241. 

The Story of Siena 

expenses for the building and adornment of the chapel or 
oratory, "the which they are disposed to do in such 
form and so well adorned, that it will be to the honour 
of God and St Catherine of Siena and of your Magni- 
ficent Signory, and the consolation of all your city." 
The oratory was begun in the same year and finished in 
1473, after several appeals from the Esecutori di Gabella 
to the Signoria for aid in money. In one of these, 
they remind the Signoria that " it pertains to the 
Republic to study that spiritual devotions and divine 
temples should increase in the city; especially in yours, 
because of the celestial gift of the sweetest liberty which 
we enjoy among very few cities in the world." And 
in another they set forth- that, with the aid of their 
Magnificent Lordships, the oratory has been built, 
" which has been a thing very devout and honourable, 
especially by reason of the great concourse of citizens 
and strangers who go there on the days of her feast" ; 
but that they need some more things to make it complete 
such as a picture for the altar, candlesticks, an image 
of the Saint in high relief, and a sacristy for which they 
want three hundred gold florins. 1 

The lower chapel now the church of the Contrada 
is the one referred to in these documents, the upper 
oratories being the result of later acts of devotion. It is 
uncertain who was the architect ; a certain Francesco di 
Duccio del Guasta, as well as Antonio Federighi and 
other masters, seems to have had a hand in it. Over 
the door is a relief of St Catherine with Angels an 
unworthy work by Urbano da Cortona and on the 
fagade are the four shields : the Libertas and the balzana 
between the Lion of the People and the Goose of the 
Contrada. The church was the workshop of Giacomo 
Benincasa and his sons. Over the altar is a statue in 
coloured wood of their glorious daughter and sister, by 

1 Document!, II. pp. 316, 339 ; Nuovi Document^ p. 139. 
I 9 2 



The House of St Catherine 

Neroccio. The five frescoed putti above and the scene of 
the reception of the Stigmata are probably by Girolamo del 
Pacchia. On the right wall are two admirable frescoes 
by Girolamo who, like all true Sienese, was never so 
truly inspired as when painting Catherine. In the first, 
she is saving two Dominican friars from a band of 
robbers by her intercession. In the second, she is visit- 
ing the convent of Santa Agnese of Montepulciano, and 
when she stoops to kiss the foot of the dead virgin it 
moves itself to meet her lips, while "a very white manna 
falling like heavenly dew " descends upon her. Here 
the painter has combined two different legends about her 
visits to Montepulciano. The two girls kneeling on 
the left are Catherine's two nieces (Lisa's daughters) 
whom she placed in the convent ; the young man in the 
foreground is apparently Neri di Landoccio. On the 
left wall we see her raising up Messer Matteo di Cenni, 
the Rector of the Casa della Misericord ia, "a notable 
servant of God and very devout to this Virgin," when 
he lay dying of the pestilence ; her figure is full of 
wonderful dignity and sweetness. This also is by 
Girolamo del Pacchia. The fresco representing the 
Saint at Florence, assailed by the Ciompi, is by Ventura 

We go up the stairs which, without unduly stretch- 
ing a point, we may surely imagine to be those up which 
Monna Lapa saw her little daughter ascending without 
touching the ground. On the left, we enter a small 
oratory, which was one of the rooms of the Benincasa 
family probably that in which they took their meals 
together. The frescoes, by the modern Sienese painter, 
Alessandro Franchi, represent legendary scenes of 
Catherine's childhood and life in the family, and her 
earliest visions before her public life began. They are 
at least unpretentious and devout in sentiment, and the 
one in which the worthy dyer finds his daughter at 


The Story of Siena 

prayer, with the mystical dove hovering over her head, 
is decidedly pretty. The picture over the altar, of Uer 
receiving the Stigmata, is perhaps by Girolamo di Ten- 
venuto. The little cell beyond is the chamber which 
was made over to her as her own, when her fathei was 
convinced that she was fn, lowing a supernatural call. 
Under the wooden covering of the floor is the very 
pavement upon which her feet trode, and, shown beneath 
bars and glass, is the hard pillow of bricks upon which 
her head rested when she slept. Out of the little window 
above it, she gave food to the poor for these rooms 
are practically on a level with the upper street. In a 
glass case certain relics of hers are preserved ; her scent- 
bottle for the sick ; the lantern which she carried when 
she visited the plague-stricken or went to the hospital 
after dark ; the handle of the stick with which she 
walked the stick we see sometimes in her pictures; 
her veil and a piece of her hair - shirt ; and the 
covering in which her head was brought from Rome 
to Siena. 

At the head of the stairs, on the right, is the door 
opening out upon the little side street that runs off from 
the steep Costa Sant' Antonio, by which the house is 
more usually entered. It bears the inscription "The 
house of Catherine, the Spouse of Christ," and when we 
mount up into the little court and loggia, we may read 
another hard saying on our left : " Living, I beheld Him 
whom I loved." The design of the court and loggia 
is ascribed to Baldassare Peruzzi. Here are two 
oratories. The first which is said to have been Monna 
Lapa's kitchen is now somewhat gorgeously decorated 
in the style of the Renaissance ; the ceiling and pave- 
ment (which latter is kept covered) belong to the end 
of the sixteenth century. Over the altar, the picture 
representing the reception of the Stigmata which we 
find repeated in one form or another in each of these 

The House of St Catherine 

chapels is by Fungai. The pictures with fine Re- 
naissance pilasters between date from the latter part of 
the sixteenth century onwards, and represent scenes from 
St Catherine's life, with other Saints and Bead of Siena. 
In contrast with those in the lower oratory, they are 
largely concerned with her later life and with her public 
actions ; her saving the souls of the tortured felons ; her 
freeing a woman from an evil spirit (by Pietro Sorri) ; 
her persuading the Roman People to submit to Pope 
Urban (by Alessandro Casolani) ; and her inducing 
Gregory to return to Rome. The more artistically 
important of the series are her mystical marriage with 
Christ, by Arcangiolo Salimbeni, and her canonisation 
by Pope Pius II. (with the Blessed Bernardo and the 
Blessed Nera of the Tolomei below), by Francesco 
Vanni. The second oratory the Oratorio del Crocifisso 
was built in the sixteenth century on the site of the 
garden of the family. Over the altar is the sacred 
Crucifix from Santa Cristina at Pisa a painting ascribed 
to Giunta Pisano praying before which, on the Fourth 
Sunday in Lent, 1375, in that little church on the banks 
of the Arno, Catherine is said, like Francis of Assisi, to 
have received in her flesh the ultimo sigillo. " I saw," 
she told Frate Raimondo, "our Crucified Lord coming 
down upon me surrounded by a great light. Thereat by 
the force of my spirit, that desired to go forth and meet 
its Creator, my body was constrained to rise. Then 
from the marks of His most sacred wounds I saw descend 
upon me five bloody rays, which were directed towards 
the hands, the feet and the heart of my body. Where- 
fore, knowing the mystery, I cried out suddenly, * Ah, 
my Lord God, I beseech you, let not these wounds 
appear outwardly in my body ; it is enough for me to 
have them internally.' Then whilst I was yet speaking, 
before those rays reached me, their blood-red colour 
changed to a marvellous brightness, and in the semblance 


The Story of Siena 

of pure light they came to the five parts of my body, to 
wit, the hands, the feet, and the heart/' 1 

In the Via Benincasa to the right of the door of the 
church over which is a bust of Catherine by Giacomo 
Cozzarelli, who is said to have designed the loggia are 
the rooms belonging to the "Nobile Contrada dell' Oca." 
In the Sala delle Adunanze, you may see the trophies 
that their f anting or jockeys, have won in the race for 
the Palio. 

The Contrada should be visited on the Sunday after 
the feast of Santa Caterina. The whole Via Benincasa 
is decorated ammaiata, as they say in Siena with 
bunting, with the flags of their own and the allied con- 
trade, with brackets to hold lights and with white 
wooden geese in every form of flight or rest, but always 
combined with a green perch and a red bracket to give 
the Italian tricolour which is also the d'rvisa of the 
Contrada. The corners of the streets that lead into the 
Via Benincasa are guarded by larger wooden geese of 
this type, set upon the walls of the houses, while at the 
bottom of the street, at the church, the way is closed 
by a temporary tabernacle and altar. From earliest 
morning, Mass is offered up unceasingly in the three 
oratories, while the figurino (the gaily decked repre- 
sentative of the Contrada) and the alfieri, waving their 
banners and preceded by a band, march through the 
city, to pay honour in this fashion to the houses of their 
friends and the headquarters of the allied contrade. 
All through the day the throng moves unceasingly 
through the street and the sacred house, until in the 
evening there is the procession. Starting from the 
parish church of Sant' Antonio, it makes its way down 
the steep, densely packed Via Benincasa. Following 
the band, comes the Jigurino ; then a long train of little 
children dressed as saints and angels foremost among 

1 Leggenda, pp. 205, 206. 



San Dome nice 

them being a group of three, a little boy, a little girl, 
and an elder girl, representing the Sposalizio of Caterina 
with the divine Bambino under the patronage of the 
Madonna. The brothers of the Company of St 
Catherine follow, bearing the silver bust of their 
patroness, with the priest of the Contrada. The end 
of the procession is brought up by the picturesque young 
Ancients, waving and tossing up their banners in the 
approved Sienese fashion, until all the steep, crowded 
Via Benincasa seems a whirling mass of colour. 

And St Catherine's power of healing factions in her 
native city has not yet ceased. In this present year of 
grace, 1902, on the day in which the popolani of the 
Oca celebrated the feast of their glorious patroness, there 
was a solemn reconciliation between them and the rival 
Contrada of the Torre, the healing of the famous feud 
of many years' standing. I am writing too soon after the 
event to know whether the peace has proved durable ! 

Upon the hill above Fontebranda rises the great red 
brick church of San Domenico after the Duomo the 
most important Gothic ecclesiastical building in Siena. 
It dates almost from the very beginning of the Dominican 
order, being begun shortly after 1220, though not 
finished until the middle of the fifteenth century. St 
Dominic himself may be said to have presided over its 
beginning, and the Angelical Doctor has walked in the 
cloisters where once the convent was. The soaring 
Campanile was raised in 1340. Though considerably 
altered in the sixteenth century it was used as a fortress 
from which the Spanish soldiery might command the 
city it is always the same building that St Catherine 
knew, and that is so intimately connected with the events 
of her life ; presumably there are few buildings in Italy 
so quick with the living spirit of one woman. Her 
beloved Dominicans, alas, are here no longer ; the con- 
vent was suppressed by the French invaders at the 


The Story of Siena 

beginning of last century, and, after the restoration of the 
Austrian Grand Dukes, the Benedictines were sub- 
stituted for the Dominicans. The black monks have 
gone too leaving a few to serve the church and the 
convent has been transformed into barracks for the 
cavalry of modern Italy. 

The interior has been completely restored, "but its original 
austere simplicity is still preserved. The picture over the 
third altar on the right in the nave, representing the Assas- 
sination of St Peter Martyr, and painted by Arcangiolo 
Salimbeni in 1579, is one of the most meritorious works 
of the later school of Sienese painters. Over the last 
altar on the right the altar-piece is formed of three 
different pictures by different artists and without the 
slightest connection with each other, save that they were 
all painted in the latter part of the fifteenth century ; the 
Nativity of the Saviour is by Francesco di Giorgio, one 
of his best works, showing a curious imitation of Luca 
Signorelli in the adoring Angels and shepherds ; above, 
the Pieta with Angels, St Michael and the Magdalene, 
is by Matteo di Giovanni ; the predella representing 
St Catherine's visions, the Martyrdom of St Sebastian, 
the Massacre of the Innocents, St Dominic preaching, 
St Mary of Egypt is ascribed to Fungai. Over the 
high altar the beautiful marble Ciborium, with the risen 
Christ above and the four Evangelists below, is the work 
of one of the chief Florentine sculptors of the latter half 
of the Quattrocento, Benedetto da Maiano. The two 
marble Angels, kneeling on either side of the altar, are 
also his. There is a fine view of the Duomo from the 
back of the choir. In the second chapel, to the left of 
the choir, is one of the loveliest and most characteristic 
pictures of the Sienese school the " Santa Barbara " 
painted by Matteo di Giovanni in 1479. The Virgin 
Martyr of the Tower sits enthroned, in robes gorgeous 
with gold and embroidery, accompanied by St Mary 

San Domenico 

Magdalene and St Catherine of the Wheels ; two Angels 
crown her, two more make melody behind her throne. 
The faces of the three women particularly the golden- 
haired maidens, Catherine and Barbara are full of pensive 
sweetness ; they have dreamed among the lilies all day and 
all night of love, such passionless love as that of which 
the F"ita Nuova tells, while the faction fights have 
splashed Siena's streets with blood, and in her palace 
chambers the things have been done of which her 
novelists speak. And, surely, when the Angels sing to 
their lutes or viols, it will be no hymn, but some such 
amorous canzone as that with which Casella refreshed 
Dante's soul on the shores of Purgatory. The lunette 
above represents the Adoration of the Magi, and was 
especially stipulated for by the worthy bakers who gave 
Matteo the commission. The bright picture opposite 
shows a trace of the influence of Benozzo Gozzoli ; it 
represents the Madonna and Child with Saints and 
Angels, with the Pieta and four Angels in the lunette, 
and was painted by Benvenuto di Giovanni in 1483. 
In the chapel beyond there is another Matteo di 
Giovanni : the Madonna and Child with Angels, St 
Jerome and the Baptist, in three divisions, with a rocky 
landscape background, damaged and neglected. In the 
chapel on the right of the choir, the Madonna of the 
Rosary or rather the Deity with Saints, surrounding 
an old votive picture of the Madonna is by Bazzi, the 
predella of the fifteen mysteries being by one of his 
pupils. The second chapel on the right belonged to 
the " German Nation " of the University of Siena, and 
is full of tombstones of noble young German students, 
who came to the famous Studio to acquire wisdom, and 
found a grave. One epitaph begins, Svevia me genuit, 
Senae rapuere sed ossa. The chapel has the pathos that 
inevitably clings to the thought of hopes cut short, of 
untimely death in a foreign land. 


The Story of Siena 

It is not for these things that we visit San Domenico 
to-day, but for the glorious chapel of St Catherine. 
Over it we read another of those hard sayings that sum 
up, mystically, the story of her inner life : " This chapel 
holds the head of Catherine. Dost thou seek her heart ? 
Nay, that Christ bears inclosed in His breast." The 
shrine itself, over the altar, which contains this sacred 
relic sacred, surely, to all lovers of the noblest things in 
the literature of mysticism no less than to Roman 
Catholics is a work of the third quarter of the fifteenth 
century, and is probably by Giovanni di Stefano. The 
frescoes on either side of it representing the Svenimento, 
St Catherine fainting into the arms of her two attendant 
nuns, Alessia and Francesca, overcome by the glory 
of the vision of her celestial Bridegroom, and St 
Catherine miraculously fed with the Food of Angels 
in the Sacred Host are by Bazzi, and were painted 
in 1526. Hardly elsewhere (save, perhaps, in the St 
Sebastian of the Uffizi painted in the previous year) has 
the wayward painter of Vercelli touched such a height 
of inspiration ; in conception and execution alike, they 
are among the supreme triumphs of Italian art. The 
fresco on the left representing the execution of Niccolo 
di Toldo, St Catherine ecstatically following the upward 
flight of the soul she has saved is also Bazzi's, but less 
excellent. It is overcrowded and badly composed, 
carelessly executed in parts ; the brawny figure and 
bearded head of the victim hardly suggest the delicate 
young nobleman, the agnello of the Leggenda minorc 
whose blood has been unjustly shed ; * but nothing could 
be more beautiful than the kneeling figure of the Saint 
herself. The beautiful pilasters between the frescoes, 
and the Angels and Prophets under the arch, are like- 
wise Bazzi's. Bazzi left the work unfinished, and 
some fifty years after his death Francesco Vanni took 

1 See pp. 48-50. 

San Domenlco 

it up, in 1593. By Vanni (who, of course, will not be 
confused with Andrea di Vanni, Catherine's contem- 
porary and friend) is the picture on the right, painted 
in oil colours, where she is seen liberating a possessed 
woman from a demon ; by him, too, are the figures 
of her two first biographers, the Blessed Raimondo 
da Capua and Frate Tommaso Nacci CafFarini, the 
authors of the Leggenda and the Leggenda minore re- 
spectively. Beautiful as the shrine is and it would 
have been perfect in its harmony had only Bazzi com- 
pleted the decorations it is impossible at times not to 
feel that there is something more melodramatic in its 
treatment than quite accords with the simpler spirit of 
the dyer's daughter of Fontebranda. The graffito work 
in coloured marble on the pavement represents Aescu- 
lapius among wild beasts. It is doubtful whether this 
is connected with the fact that several physicians of the 
Benzi family were buried in the chapel, or a part of the 
decorations in honour of the Saint. 

San Domenico should be visited on the day of St 
Catherine's Feast, which in Siena is kept on April 29th. 
The nave is hung with the bright banners of the 
contrade ; Mass after Mass is offered up without inter- 
mission throughout the morning at the shrine, while 
crowds of the devout humbly and silently approach the 
altar, to be fed with that Bread of the Angels, " which," 
says the collect for that day, " sustained even the temporal 
life of the blessed Virgin Catherine." The curtain is 
raised, and behind the gilded bars of the shrine the pale, 
strange face appears, its features still recognisable. The 
altar blazes with candles and glares with artificial lilies, 
while natural flowers, lilies of the valley and white roses 
more fitting tribute to her who so loved the simple 
flowers of the field are offered up at the chapel rails. 
And, in this sudden advent of reality, Bazzi's beautiful 
melodrama palls. 


The Story of Siena 

In the sacristy, on this day, are shown certain other 
relics her discipline ; her portable altar-stone ; the 
sacramental cloths which she made for it with her own 
hands ; the bull from Pope Gregory at Avignon granting 
her the dispensation to have Mass upon it wherever she 
went; and one of her fingers. The latter relic is 
somewhat unfittingly carried in procession through the 
church at sunset. The sacristy contains a banner painted 
with the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin by Bazzi. 

The chapel on the right of the entrance, the Cappella 
delle Volte, over which is a large painted Crucifix of the 
fifteenth century, was not separated from the rest of the 
church in the days of St Catherine, as it is now. It was 
the chapel in which she habitually prayed, and by one of 
its pillars she knelt always, to hear Mass in the church 
below. Here her visions came to her, here had she 
those strange mystical revelations of the Divine Word. 
" Disposing wondrous ascensions in her heart, Catherine 
went up these steps, to pray in the chapel to Christ her 
Spouse." Thus runs the writing over the original steps, 
piously preserved and guarded by bars, on the left, by 
which Catherine mounted into the cell of mystery ; not 
those modern ones by which we now go up into the 
little chapel that witnessed this wondrous union of a 
woman's mind and heart with the suprasensible. 

It is somewhat bare to-day, painfully coated with 
modern paint and whitewash. It is hung with paintings 
representing scenes from her life and death, of little 
value from an artistic point of view, though one that of 
her walking with her Master and Spouse has a certain 
pathos and sweetness. Two narrow pictures over the 
entrance representing her giving the cross of her rosary, 
and clothing the Divine Beggar with her robe are 
earlier and better than the larger canvasses. But over 
the altar is a priceless treasure, the famous portrait of 
her by her friend and correspondent Andrea di Vanni, 

San Domenico 

perhaps painted in her life-time and in any case her 
authentic likeness, in which the mantellata is giving her 
hand to kiss to a kneeling follower of her own sex in 
the way to which (when men were concerned) such 
exception was taken during her life. In the centre of the 
chapel a piece of the old pavement where she trode 
walked with Christ, in the phrase of the legend is 
religiously preserved. Elsewhere, marble tablets on the 
floor are marked with heart, cross or robe, and inscribed : 
" Christ changeth heart with Catherine"; "Catherine 
bestoweth her cross on Christ"; "Catherine clothes 
Christ with her robe." For into this chapel, as into 
others, the beggars came and among them the disguised 
Spouse of her soul. Still may we see the pillar against 
which she leaned in her ecstasies the pillar that is 
idealised in Bazzi's two frescoes on either side of the 
shrine below though now it is covered and modernised 
like the rest of the chapel. An inscription hung upon 
it a seventeenth century copy of one of much older 
date (but not earlier than her canonisation) strikes the 
keynote of the whole chapel, and I will therefore 
translate it in full : 

" In this chapel, there befell many wonderful actions 
to St Catherine of Siena, among the which are those set 
down below, as the blessed Raimondo her confessor 
telleth, and they are also known by ancient tradition, 
besides the many others that befell in this present 

" Here she was clothed in the habit of St Dominic, 
and she was the first virgin who up to that time had been 
thus clothed. 

" Here she stayed apart to hear the divine offices, and 
here continually had she divine colloquies, conversing 
familiarly with Jesus Christ her Spouse. Here she said 
the divine office, she had frequent ecstasies, and for the 
most part in these she used to lean against this pilaster, 


The Story of Siena 

in one of which ecstasies she was zealously portrayed by 
a painter on the wall outside of this chapel. * And from 
that time this pilaster has been, and still is formidable to 
the furies of Hell, and many persons possessed of devils 
have been delivered thereby. 

" Here she gave a little cross of silver, that she had 
threaded to her rosary, to Jesus Christ in the shape of a 
poor man, who afterwards told her that He would show 
it on the Day of Judgment to all the world. 

" Here she gave her vest to Jesus Christ in the shape 
of a poor man, who afterwards robed her with an in- 
visible robe whereby she never again suffered cold. 

"Here Jesus Christ appeared to her surrounded by 
light, as she was wishing to descend by this place and go 
back to her house ; and when straightway she fell to the 
ground thereat, He opened her breast and put there His 
own heart, saying, ' Lo, most dear daughter mine, 
even as the other day I took from thee thy heart, so 
now do I give thee Mine own, by the which shalt thou 
ever live/ 

" While she was leaning in ecstasy against this pilaster, 
a candle that was there alight, in h onour of some saints, 
fell upon the veils of her head and entirely burnt itself out 
upon them, without doing any harm or making any mark. 

"While her confessor, Frate Raimondo, was cele- 
brating Mass at the altar of the holy Apostles Peter and 
Paul, she remained at the foot of this chapel and desired to 
be fed with the Holy Communion ; but because it was late, 
and the confessor knew not that she was there, she 
stayed there patiently ; then did Jesus Christ in person 
communicate her with part of the Host consecrated at 
that Mass, and the confessor, not finding it, remained 
much afflicted until it was revealed to him by her." 

1 This does not refer to Bazzi's fresco, but to an earlier picture 
figured in Gigli, I. p. 24; possibly Andrea di Vanni is meant, 
as it closely resembles his work. 

In the Footsteps of St Catherine 

To many of us these things may seem mere priestly 
legends, and we may find, even in Catherine's more 
solemn revelations, but little to meet our daily needs. 
Assuredly, few would maintain that Christ actually 
appeared, objectively, to His servant that she walked 
with Him in aught save the spirit that He spoke 
words to her otherwise than in her own heart. Yet, 
who shall set limits to the potential ascents of the human 
spirit when held so slightly by its mortal ve/o, when so 
little encumbered or shadowed by the nube di sua mortalita 
as was that of Caterina Benincasa ? In those mystical 
suprasensible regions during that half hour in which 
there is silence in Heaven Catherine was a voyager 
alone, a sure wanderer in fields where our footsteps 
to-day cannot tread even in imagination. Let us adapt 
to ourselves the word of Frate Raimondo : "We are in 
the valley, and we presume to judge concerning what 
is on the summit of the Mountain." 


The Last Days of the Republic 

expelled from Siena in September 1524, by a 
temporary alliance of all factions in the State. Of the 
three chief leaders in the revolution, Giovanni Martinozzi 
belonged to the Monte de' Nove, Giovanni Battista 
Piccolomini to the Gentiluomini, while Mario Bandini 
was a grandson of Andrea Todeschini Piccolomini and 
therefore associated to the Monte del Popolo. Mario, 
who was a young man of about twenty-three, was at the 
head of the Libertini, an association of the most ardent 
republicans in Siena, who had sworn relentless and per- 
petual enmity to all who should attempt anything against 
the liberties of the Republic. 

There were solemn religious processions, with the 
"Madonna delle Grazie" carried through the city in 
thanksgiving for the liberation of Siena from tyranny. 
But the Noveschi were by no means prepared to re- 
linquish their prepotency. They rallied round Ales- 
sandro Bichi, who, with the favour of Pope Clement VII. 
and the Florentines, backed by the authority of the 
French who, under the Duke of Albany, were marching 
through Tuscany against the imperial forces in Naples, 
assumed the position from which the Petrucci had fallen, 
The three Monti were reduced to one, the Monte de 
Nobili Reggenti, and the power of the Balia was vested 
in a select committee of sixteen, of which Alessandro 
was the recognised head. By common consent of con- 


The Last Days of the Republic 

temporary writers, he was an able and high-minded man, 
with no blot upon his character save this fatal usurpa- 
tion of his country's liberties. At the suggestion of the 
Medicean rulers of Florence and with financial aid from 
them, he was beginning to build a fortress or citadel on 
the hill of San Domenico to secure his hold, when the 
Battle of Pavia (February 1525) overthrew the power 
of France and made the Emperor, Charles V., arbiter of 
the destinies of Italy. The Libertini, headed by Mario 
Bandini and Girolamo Severini, saw that the time had 
come to deliver the Republic. Both parties entered into 
negotiations with the Emperor, through his vicar in 
Lombardy and his ambassador in Rome ; Charles took 
Siena under his protection for the sum of 1 5,000 ducats. 
The appearance of the imperial commissaries in Siena 
gave the occasion for the rising. On April 6th, 1525, 
while Alessandro Bichi was counting out the money to 
them in the palace of the Archbishop, a band of Libertini 
headed by Giovanni Battista Fantozzo burst in and 
stabbed him to death. In the meanwhile the populace 
had risen throughout the city at the call of Mario Bandini, 
while the Mangia Tower rang out the alarm. The mer- 
cenaries of the guard of the Piazza held the openings to 
the Terzo di San Martino for the Noveschi, with artillery, 
but appear to have made little real resistance ; compara- 
tively few persons had been killed on either side, when 
evening saw the Libertini masters of the situation. The 
body of Alessandro was quietly conveyed to Sant' 
Agostino and buried there. 

The next day, the General Council of the Campana 
annulled all that had been done in Siena since the passage 
of the Duke of Albany, dissolved the Monte de' Nobili 
Reggenti, created a new Collegio di Balla, divided the 
government equally between the three Monti (the 
Dodicini, who had by this time lost all importance, 
being included in the Monte del Popolo) , and appointed 


The Story of Siena 

a magistracy of fifteen, afterwards twenty-one, Conserva- 
tor! dl Liberia. Alessandro's son Antonio Maria Bichi, 
Giovanni Martinozzi, Lattanzio Petrucci and a number 
of other Noveschi left the city, and were put under 

bounds. Siena was 
once more a free 
Republic under the 
protection of the 

It was not hard 
for these Noveschi 
to gain the ear 
of Clement VII. 
and the aid of the 
Florentines. The 
Medicean Pontiff 
looked with jealous 
eyes upon the fair 
dominion of the Re- 
public, and early in 
1526 he declared 
war against Siena, 
with the professed 
object of restoring 
these exiled citizens 

A suburban chafd tO their Country. 

The Balia hired 

soldiers under Giulio Colonna and others, and prepared 
for a stout resistance. Two conspiracies were discovered 
to betray Siena to the Pope, and for his share in one of 
them Luzio Aringhieri bastard son of that Messer 
Alberto whose glory is writ large upon the Duomo was 
beheaded in front of the Palazzo. Then Andrea Doria 
with the papal fleet seized Talamone, while the Sienese 
contado was simultaneously invaded by the pontifical 
army under Count Virginio dell* Anguillara and Count 


The Last Days of the Republic 

Lodovico of Pitigliano, and the Florentine army undei 
their commissary, Roberto Pucci. Attempts to capture 
Montalcino and Montereggioni having failed, the two 
armies united before the wails of Siena itself, their main 
force taking up its position outside the Porta Camellia. 
Realising too late that the Pope had not made all these 
warlike preparations for their benefit, but was meditating 
the complete subjugation of the Republic, the leaders of 
the fuorusciti Aldello Placidi and Giovanni Martinozzi 
left the pontifical camp and went back, one to Rome, 
the other to Florence, rather then witness the ruin of 
their native land. 

While the papal artillery thundered away unceasingly 
from the side of Camellia, the Balia elected seven 
deputies to direct solemn processions with prayers and 
litanies, and decreed the renewal of the donation of 
Siena to the Madonna. A devout lady whom the 
citizens held to be endowed with prophetic spirit, 
Margherita Bichi, the widow of Francesco Buonsignori, 
declared that it was the Blessed Virgin's will that the 
feast of her Immaculate Conception which, it may be 
remembered, had not yet been proclaimed an article of 
faith should ever after be solemnly celebrated in this 
her chosen city, "and further that Mary Immaculate 
willed that next Sunday all the Magistrates in whose 
hands was the lordship of the city should go to the 
Cathedral, having confessed and communicated, to that 
Image to which at other times they had presented them- 
selves, and there they should have the Mass of the 
Immaculate Conception celebrated and then should 
confirm and renew the donation of the city to its true 
Patroness." 1 On the day appointed the Priors and 
Captain of the People, followed by the members of the 
Balia and the Nine of the Guard with all the other 

1 See the Deliberations of the Balia and the Concistoro for 
July 2ist and 22nd, in Pecci, Mcmorie, etc., II. pp. 211-213. 


The Story of Siena 

officials, assembled at the Palazzo and, preceded by a 
great banner upon which was depicted the Assumption, 
moved in procession to the Duomo. There after the 
votive Mass of the Immaculate Conception had been 
sung the Prior of the Concistoro, stepping up to the 
altar, solemnly, in the name of the Republic, renewed 
the donation and surrendered the keys of the gates to 
the officiating priest, the canon Giovanni Pecci, who 
formally accepted and then gave them back. 

Meanwhile the papal bombardment continued day after 
day, answered back by the artillery of the Sienese. The 
Portone beyond the gate of Camellia was a heap of ruins, 
but the guns had been badly placed and did little further 
harm to the walls ; the Sienese, under Enea Sacchini, 
had made a number of successful sorties, and the pontifical 
generals were not prepared to venture upon a general 
assault. An attempt at intervention by an imperial agent, 
Don Hugo de Moncada, failed. Then on July 25th, the 
feast of St James and St Christopher, the forces of the 
Republic, under Giulio Colonna and Giovanni Maria Pini, 
suddenly issued out of the Porta Camellia and fell upon 
the enemy, while a smaller body of horse and foot sallied 
out of the Porta Fontebranda, drove the irregular cavalry 
of the Conte dell* Anguillara in headlong flight before 
them and took the " blind Papal Florentines," quit Papal 
Fiorentim ciechl (as the people sang of them), in the flank. 
Seized by a sudden panic, the whole army broke and 
fled in hopeless confusion, leaving their camp and artillery 
the latter captured by Mario Bandini at the head of a 
band of young Libertini. Anguillara, the pontifical 
general, "a very fat man and with little foresight in 
war," as a contemporary -calls him, led the rout half 
dressed ; while the Florentine commissary, Roberto 
Pucci, after some better show of valour, made the best 
of his way to Poggibonsi. As for the rank and file, 
pursued for only one mile, they ran for ten. The Sieneee 

2T 4 

The Last Days of the Republic 

re-entered the city in triumph, with the captured guns 
and banners ; three days of thanksgiving and festivity 
followed, and votive pictures in San Martino and the 
little oratory in Salicotto still tell the tale. "You 
know," wrote Francesco Vettori to Machiavelli, "that 
I unwillingly allow myself to believe anything super- 
natural ; but this defeat seems to me to have been as 
extraordinary I will not say miraculous as anything 
that has happened in war from 1494 to now ; and it 
seems to me like certain histories that I have read in the 
Bible, when a terror entered into men so that they fled 
and knew not from whom/' * 

With the imperialists ravening like hell-hounds in 
Rome and Florence in revolt against the Medici, Pope 
Clement soon had his hands too full of more deadly 
business to interfere with Siena. But the Sienese 
returned to their mad factions. Some of the fuorusctti 
under Giovanni Martinozzi harried the Valdichiana, and 
Francesco Petrucci made a temporary reappearance upon 
the scenes, threatening Massa. Within the city the 
Popolani, led by the Libertini, wen 1 attempting to keep 
down the Noveschi. In July 1527 practically on the 
anniversary of the great victory of the past year there 
was a sanguinary tumult, in which the populace sacked 
the houses of the leading Noveschi, murdered the younger 

1 Letter of August 5th, 1526, in Machiavelli, Letters 
familiar! (Optre, edition cited, vol. viii. p. 208). In answer to 
Machiavelli, Vettori gives further details in a letter of August 
yth (loc. dt. pp. 210-214) " I believe," he says, " that on other 
occasions it has happened that an army fled at shouts, but that 
it should fly for ten miles, without anyone pursuing it this I 
do not believe has been ever read nor seen." According to the 
Sienese accounts the papal army numbered some 18,000 men 
and lost more than 1000, while 150 Sienese were killed. 
Vettori says that 400 foot soldiers and 50 light cavalry issued 
out of Siena and put to flight 5000 infantry and 300 horsemen ; 
but he evidently refers only to the sally from the Porta Fonte- 

The Story of Siena 

Pietro Borghesi and a number of others in cold blood. 
The Monte de' Nove was deprived of any share in the 
government and annulled, the old Monte de' Riformatori 
being revived in its stead, and the government was divided 
between the three Monti Popolani, Gentiluomini (with 
Dodicini), Riformatori. Some of the Noveschi were 
incorporated into the two latter Monti, but the greater 
part the Petrucci, Borghesi, Bichi, Placidi, Bellanti, 
Bulgarini, and the like was " for ever " admonished 
and excluded. A number of them were declared rebels 
and their goods confiscated. Thus permanently ended 
the supremacy of the Monte de' Nove in the Republic of 
Siena, the State remaining in the hands of the Popolani 
and Riformatori. Several of the leaders of the Noveschi 
were given offices in the Papal States, Aldello Placidi 
being made Senator of Rome and Fabio Petrucci 
Governor of Spoleto. 

Alfonso Piccolomini d'Aragona, Duke of Amain", a 
grand-nephew of Pius III., who was a persona gratis -sima 
with the people, was now appointed Captain-General of 
trhe forces of the Republic. Siena threw herself into the 
arms of the Caesarian Majesty of the Emperor and the 
Catholic Majesty of Spain, combined in the person of 
Charles V . The Emperor to whom Siena was the key 
of Tuscany sent a garrison of Spanish soldiers, with a 
series of vicars or governors, beginning with Don Lopez 
de Soria, who reformed the government again and re- 
admitted the Noveschi, headed by Francesco Petrucci. 
These, however, no longer held their old position, and 
were only allowed a fourth part of the Balia. There 
were furious tumults again in 1530, when Francesco 
Petrucci and Giovanni Maria Pini (the hero of the 
victory at the Porta Camellia) led the Noveschi, and 
Mario Bandini, as usual, headed the popular opposition, 
which readily got the upper hand. In one of these 
Giovanni Martinozzi was killed. An imperial army 

The Last Days of the Republic 

under the command of the overbearing young Ferrante 
Gonzaga threatened the city in consequence; Ferrante 
arrested Mario Bandini, who had come out to confer 
with him on behalf of 
the Popolani and Rifor- 
matori, but he was un- 
able to reform the 
government in the favour 
of the Noveschi. His 
successor, the popular 
Marchese del Vasto, 
succeeded in effecting a 

Trouble of another 
kind arose in 1535. A 
number of artisans and 
small shopkeepers, but- 
chers, tailors, and the 
like, with other restless 
spirits among the lower 
orders, formed them- 
selves into an association 
known as the Bardotti. 
There were a few more 
or less educated men 
among them, who fired 
their imaginations by 
reading Livy and 
Machiavelli, and at last 
they attempted a revolu- 
tion, demanding tribunes 
after the old Roman 

model. The thing was a ludicrous failure, and Mario 
Bandini, upon whose support they relied, told them 
plainly to go back to their shops, and let affairs of State 
alone. It was on this occasion that the painter Pacchiarotti, 


Banner-holder in the Piazza 

The Story of Siena 

who had posed as one of their leaders in the secret con- 
venticles of the wine cellars, was so terrified that he hid 
himself in the vaults under the Osservanza, and even 
climbed into a tomb and lay by a corpse for security. 
In April 1536 the Emperor himself came to Siena for 
a few days, and had a superb reception from the city, 
whose babes unborn were said to lisp the name of Caesar. 
These babes were destined to be disillusioned before they 
grew up to manhood. There were more tumults in 1539 
between the Noveschi and the democratic orders, and 
Francesco Petrucci was again declared a rebel. The Duke 
of Amalfi was dismissed in 1541* and the Emperor sent 
two ministers, Monsignor Perrenot de Granvelle and 
Francesco Sfondrato of Cremona (both of them after- 
wards cardinals) to rule the city in his name. They 
reduced the Balia to forty, dividing it equally between 
the four Monti, and reformed the State thoroughly and 
equitably, so that " for about two years the city lived 
better and more peacefully than it had done in any time 
past." 1 Then a change came. They were succeeded 
by Don Juan de Luna, a Spaniard, in 1543, who openly 
favoured the Noveschi, with whose aid, he imagined, he 
might rule Siena for himself under the Crown of Spain. 
He attempted to make a matrimonial alliance with the 
Piccolomini by offering one of his daughters to Giacomo 
di Antonio Maria ; but his overtures were scornfully 
rejected. The Noveschi plotted to fall upon the people, 
to butcher their leaders at a bull-fight. That failing, in 
February 1 546, trusting in Don Juan and his soldiers, they 
rose in arms, headed by Bartolommeo Petrucci, shouting 
" Imperio e Nove ! Imperio e Nove ! " But all the orders 
united against them, and they were repulsed, a number 
of them being slaughtered by the infuriated populace. 
Don Juan and his Spaniards evacuated the city, and the 
few Noveschi who had not fled were again deprived 

1 Sozzini, Diario, p. 24. 


The Last Days of the Republic 

of the government, which was placed for three months 
in the hands of a committee of ten three from each of 
the other Monti and the Captain of the People to have 
the authority of the Balia. The Archbishop Francesco 
Bandini, who was as much a peacemaker as his brother 
Mario was a firebrand, and Marcantonio Amerighi, were 
sent as ambassadors to explain to the Emperor what had 
happened. In this and the following year there were 
processions and festivities of all kinds in the Campo 
and throughout Siena, " the city being all joyous, think- 
ing that they had conquered, and imagining that never 
again would any one molest it." 1 

But in 1548, at the instigation of the exiled Noveschi, 
a famous personage came to represent the Emperor in 
Siena: Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, scholar, soldier, 
politician, the future author of the Guerra de Granada. 
He restored the Noveschi, reorganised the Balia and the 
Signoria, and quartered Spanish soldiers in San Domenico, 
San Francesco, Sant'Agostino, and the Servi. He ruled 
the Republic in the most despotic fashion ; he had brought 
with him a number of blank sheets of paper with the 
Emperor's signature, and whenever he wanted anything 
from the Balia or the Senate, he simply filled up one of 
these, and declared it was the will of Caesar. By his 
orders all the arms and weapons in Siena, both public 
and private, were collected in San Domenico, and all 
the artillery placed in its piazza by the side of the 
Campanile. The Balia trembled before him, and in- 
stantly granted all that he demanded. He was, wrote a 
satirical poet of the epoch, "a foe to all Italy, to 
Heaven and to the World, and thought to make him- 
self in Siena second to God." 2 A certain Tommaso 

1 Sozzini, op. cit. pp. 26, 27. 

2 In the sonnet written in the name of the Mangia of the 
Tower of the Campo (the figure, removed in 1780, that sounded 
the hours, a kind of Sienese Pasquino) to the painter Riccio. 
Appendix to Sozzini, Document xiv. 

2I 9 

The Story of Siena 

Politi sent a letter to the Balia, warning them that 
they were throwing away the liberties of their country ; 
the servile Collegio handed over the letter to Don 
Diego, and the unfortunate writer was beheaded. 

At last Don Diego announced that the Catholic 
Majesty intended to build a citadel at the walls ot 
Siena, and that the Sienese themselves would have to 
supply what was necessary. At this, the unmistakable 
death-note to their liberties, even the servile Balia was 
terrified, while a cry of dismay and horror rose from all 
the people, high and low ; certain of the Noveschi alone 
were secretly favouring the project. The Concistoro 
decided to appeal simultaneously to Caesar and to the 
Blessed Virgin. Girolamo di Lattanzio Tolomei, and 
after him the historian Orlando Malavolti (the latter 
with a petition signed by more than a thousand citizens), 
were sent to the Emperor ; while in Siena itself, Lelio 
Tolomei (Girolamo's brother) delivered a passionate 
harangue to the Senate, and a solemn vow was made 
to the Madonna to marry every year, so long as the 
liberty of the Republic lasted, fifty poor maidens at the 
expense of the State, with a dowry of twenty-five gold 
florins each, and it was decided once more to renew 
the donation of Siena to her. This was in November 
1550. On the Sunday after the decision had been 
taken, the Signori, headed by the Captain of the People, 
went in procession to the Duomo with the fifty maidens 
and the keys of the city. A solemn Mass of the Holy 
Spirit was sung, the Signori and others communicated, 
and then the Captain, Claudio Zuccantini, made "a 
most beauteous prayer," in this wise : 

" If ever in times past, Immaculate Mother of God, 
our Patroness and Advocate, with compassionate prayers 
thou hast moved the mercy of thine only-begotten Son 
towards this thy most devout city, may it please thee 
to-day, more than ever before, to do so. For albeit 

The Last Days of the Republic 

thou hast saved it many times from various accidents and 
fearful wars, as from that of Montaperti and this other 
last of Camollia, never has there hung over it an afflic- 
tion equal to this of to-day, when its only benefactor 
and protector, Charles V., desires to make in it a Castle. 
We cannot and would not resist him with any other 
means, save by thy welcome intercession with thy be- 
loved Son, that He may infuse into him a more benign spirit 
towards this his most devoted city,especially as it has never 
sinned against his Majesty nor against the Sacred Empire. 

" Take from him, in pity, such a thought, which 
befits not our sincere faith, and which brings with it the 
destruction of our honour, our dignity, our dear liberty, 
preserved until to-day under thy great guardianship and 
loving protection. 

" Behold, most sacred Virgin, present before thee the 
hearts, the souls of thy Sienese people, repentant for all 
their past errors, kneeling and prostrate before thy 
throne to beg mercy and deliverance from the projected 
Castle. And I, as the least of all and thy servant, in 
the name of the Republic, by decree of the most ample 
Senate, make to thee a perpetual vow that so long as, 
by thy intercession, our dear and sweet liberty shall last 
fifty poor little maidens shall every year be married at 
the public expense, with a dowry for each of twenty-five 
florins, to thy greater glory and honour. Further, I 
consecrate to thee the city : I present to thee anew the 
keys, which were restored to us before, as to Her who is 
the safest and the most potent to guard them. 

" Open with them the heart of Caesar, removing from 
it his unnecessary design. Dispose him rather to pre- 
serve us for those devout and faithful subjects that we 
have been and ever shall be, to his Caesarian Majesty and 
to the Sacred Empire. Lastly, take away from this most 
devoted People every memory of private injuries, and 
unite it with eternal peace and concord ; to the end that, 


The Story of Siena 

thus pacific and united, it may be able to serve God and 
thyself and his Caesarian Majesty, and to rejoice without 
end in our cherished liberty." 1 

But the Emperor, to whom the possession of Siena was 
invaluable and who (since the fortresses of Livorno and 
Florence had been consigned to Duke Cosimo) had 
no other strong place in Tuscany, was resolute. He 
answered Malavolti graciously, assuring him that it was 
not to take away, but to maintain the liberty of Siena and 
to secure good government, that he was having this 
fortress built ; but when, a little later on, more ambas- 
sadors arrived, " in mourning robes, as though in antici- 
pation of the loss of their liberty," he answered shortly 
that his imperial orders had been given, and refused to 
listen to any further representations on the subject. 
" We must drink this bitter chalice," wrote Girolamo 
Tolomei, " and swallow this red-hot trivet." 

In the meanwhile, the foundations of the citadel had 

1 I have given this in full as a specimen of these donations 
of which we hear so often in the story of Siena. No less char- 
acteristic is the reply of the officiating canon, Antonio Benzi : 
"Your great and profound humility, Most Illustrious Lords, 
is manifestly founded on Faith, Hope and Charity. Faith is 
shown by the desire of uniting yourselves with our most just 
Saviour, receiving into your souls His most holy Body ; Hope 
is shown by the consigning and restitution of the keys of 
your City to the most glorious Queen of the Heavens ; Chanty, 
by the vow of marrying the maidens in perpetuity by your 
free Republic. We, albeit unworthy of so great an office, in 
the name of Blessed Christ and of His Immaculate Mother, 
accept your vows and oblations. We remind you that Faith 
without works is said to be dead ; that whoso trusteth in God 
with pure heart, \vill be immovable as Mount Sion ; and that 
Charity unites us with God. Therefore have living Faith, 
firm Hope and ardent Charity ; to the end that you may obtain 
your desire and that your City may be preserved in true liberty 
to the honour of God and of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, our 
Advocate and of all the faithful Christian people." (Appendix 
to Sozzini, Diario, Documents vi. and vii.) 

The Last Days of the Republic 

been laid on the Poggio di San Prospero, the site of the 
present Lizza, though the architect Peloro had, accord- 
ing to Sozzini, " made the design of such greatness for 
the benefit of his city, 
that his Catholic Majesty 
would not finish it in 
thirty years." Dressed 
in red cloth, Don Diego 
came every day that he 
v/as in Siena to hurry 
on the work. But a 
weird figure rose up in 
the midst of it. The 
hermit Brandano had 
wandered through Italy 
preaching repentance, 
clothed in sackcloth with 
a halter round his neck, 
a Crucifix in one hand 
and a death's-head in the 
other. On the eve of 
the sack of Rome he had 
appeared in the Eternal 
City, foretelling the 
scourge, denouncing Pope 
Clement and his cardinals. 
Beaten and imprisoned, 
he had next gone as 
a pilgrim to our Lady's 
shrines in Spain, where 
he had been thrown 

into the dungeons of the Inquisition. Now he suddenly 
stood out on the hill-side, watching the builders at their 
work, chanting aloud in weird wailing tones the text of 
the psalm : Nisi Dominus aedificaverit domum, " Except 
the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build 


An old Fanale In the Piazza 
San Giusto 

The Story of Siena 

it " ; and then, when men stopped to listen, he cried 
again in a louder tone : Nisi Dominus custodierit civi- 
tatem, " Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman 
waketh but in vain." Driven off the works, he returned 
again and again, declaring that he spoke by the will of 
God. Diego sent him to the galleys, but the Spanish 
commander at Port'Ercole found no cause in him and 
sent him back to Siena. Here he designed what Sozzini 
calls un bettissimo e notabil colpo, and hurled two huge 
stones at the head of a red-coated Spaniard, fondly 
imagining that he was the hated Diego. Arrested and 
brought before the governor, he calmly avowed his 
attempt to kill him for the sake of his fellow-citizens. 
Either an unwonted access of magnanimity or super- 
stitious fear made the Spaniard spare his life, -and he was 
merely banished from Siena on pain of death, the guards 
at the gates being bidden never to let him enter the city 

But other aids than supernatural were preparing. A 
number of Sienese gentlemen and artisans alike left the 
city and their business, staying in their villas or in the 
contado rather than see this hideous monument of servi- 
tude rising higher day by day. Two of these, Girolamo 
and Lelio Tolomei, died suddenly men whispered 
Spanish poison. An extensive conspiracy was concocted 
in Rome, Ferrara, and Venice for the liberation of 
Siena. A certain Giovanni Maria Benedetti, a man of 
humble birth in the service of the Cardinal de Tournon, 
and Amerigo Amerighi, a member of the Balia, were the 
connecting links between the Sienese, on the one hand, 
and the agents of the Most Christian King and the 
cardinals of the French faction, on the other. But so 
many persons, Sienese and foreigners, were implicated 
that it was held a special miracle of the Madonna's that 
the plot was not discovered long before the time came 
to put it into effect. 

The Last Days of the Republic 

Don Diego was absent from Siena, and a certain Don 
Franzese de Avila a very gracious young man who, 
alone of his nation, had ingratiated himself with the 
Sienese by what Sozzini calls his young-lady-like 
manners, che veramente era come una donzella^ ruled in 
his place; when, on the evening of July 26th, 1552, a 
force of French and Italians, led by Enea Piccolomini 
delle Papesse, 1 arrived at a little distance from the Porta 
Romana. Some warning had reached the Spaniards and 
some sort of preparation been made ; but it was not until 
the following morning that the alarm was shouted from 
the Mangia Tower. When evening came, the people 
rose in mass, shouting for France and Liberty ; the very 
women hurled stones upon the heads of the Spaniards, as 
they sullenly retreated towards San Domenico and the 
Citadel, leaving the Campo in the charge of the Florentine 
soldiers that Duke Cosimo had sent to their aid. Such 
was the flaming of the torches and the glow of lights in 
the windows, that " through all the city one walked as 
though the sun had risen." While the Sienese within 
threw open the Porta Tufi, the rest of the French, led 
by Enea Piccolomini, fired the Porta Romana ; " and 
they entered into Siena with such great impetus and with 
such great noise, that it was heard many miles away. 
All that night they fought together ; for the Spaniards, 
with the support of the Florentines, had fortified them- 
selves in San Domenico and in Camellia, having the 
Citadel at their shoulders. This combat lasted all the night 
and till the tv/entieth hour of the following day, which 
was Thursday the 28th of July ; in which hour those of 
the city, making every effort, captured San Domenico, 
where the Spaniards thought themselves right strong and 
safe. And by reason of this loss, the latter abandoned 
also that part of the city which they held, and they all 
retreated to the fortress. In which retreat many Spaniards 
1 See the Genealogical Table of the Family of Pius II. 
P 225 

The Story of Siena 

and Florentines were killed ; and so, by the grace of 
God, all the city was free.'* * 

Two Sienese, Giovanni Andrea Bonizzelli and Giovanni 
Battista Cappanna, who had served the Spaniards as com- 
missaries, attempted to escape from the city ; they were 
brutally done to death, the one by the contadini into 
whose hands he had fallen, the other brought back as a 
prisoner to be hurled out of a window of the Sala di 
Balia. At the beginning of August, at the intervention 
of the Duke of Florence, the Citadel capitulated ; the 
Spaniards and Florentines were allowed to march out 
with their arms and baggage, and retire unmolested to 
Florence. The young-lady-like maestro di campo, Don 
Franzese, shed tears when he found Messer Ottavio 
Sozzini and a number of young Sienese gentlemen 
waiting in the Prato di Camellia to bid him farewell. 
"You brave Sienese," he said, "have made a most 
beautiful stroke ; but for the future be wise, for you 
have offended too great a man." 

Lansac, the French representative, at once entered 
the Citadel and summoned the Signoria. They came in 
procession with a banner of Our Lady in front of them, 
with all the other magistrates and officials following, 
crowned with garlands of olive, while all the clergy and 
a multitude of people came after, with men bearing spades, 
pickaxes and the like : " it seemed that each one was 
going to a wedding." In the name of the Most 
Christian King, Lansac formally made over the Citadel 
to the Republic the notary of the Concistoro, Ser 
Luca Salvini, drawing up the instrument in strict legal 
form. Let Sozzini, who was present, describe the scene : 
" When the deed had been drawn up in valid form, 
the Captain of the People first and then the most illustrious 

1 La Cacciata della Guardia Spagnola da Sifna, pp. 522, 5 2 3- 
The "twentieth hour" means four hours before sunset, or 
about four o'clock in the afternoon. 

The Last Days of the Republic 

Signori, with pickaxes and other instruments began to 
destroy the said Citadel ; and all the people shouted, 
with tears of joy in their eyes : * Liberty, Liberty ! ' 
* France, France ! ' * Victory, Victory ! ' Now 
whoso had seen the great multitude of gentlemen and 
shopkeepers, who raced to come first to the destruction 
of the Citadel, certainly would have been astounded ; 
seeing that, in the space of one hour, more was destroyed 
facing the city than would have been built in four months. 
When the Signoria and the procession departed to return 
to the Palace, many gentlemen and shopkeepers remained 
to continue the destruction, and continually fresh folk 
arrived there." 1 

Siena was now under the protection of France, with 
a French garrison. The people were in a fever of 
delight. Sonnet after sonnet, abusing the Spaniards and 
extolling the French, satirising the Catholic Majesty and 
praising the Most Christian, appeared on the Loggia di 
Mercanzia. With no thought or talk of war, the 
Sienese gave themselves up to sport and pleasure. The 
Balia was abolished, or rather combined with the Con- 
cistoro in one chief magistracy composed of the Signoria 
and twenty others elected by the Senate ; the two 
councils (the General Council of the Campana, or Senate, 
and the Council of the People) were reduced to one ; 
the Monti were nominally annulled, or united in one body 
of the " Cittadini Reggenti della Citta di Siena." In 
November the Cardinal of Ferrara, Ippolito d'Este the 
younger, with a goodly guard of Swiss, came as lieutenant 
of the King of France, received by the government with 
the utmost honour, and welcomed by the people, says 
Malavolti, con incredibile allegrezza. Hearing that the 
Emperor was massing troops in the Kingdom of Naples 
to come against Siena, the Cardinal had new forts built 
outside the Porta Camollia. The men of the contrade 

ioy pp. 89, 90. 


The Story of Siena 

came to work upon them, " always gladly to the sound of 
drums and trumpets/' while one of the Cardinal's guard 
played on the flute, so sweetly "that every one stayed to 
listen to it as a thing most rare." But wiser folk shook 
their heads, noticing that the forts were being designed 
in such a way that they would serve equally to bombard 
the city, " from which thing many took a right sinister 
impression." l And again the strange weird figure 
of Brandano appeared, wandering up and down the 
streets, gazing upon the new fortifications, singing in a 
quaint doggerel of his own : "Little good, O Cardinal, 
may'st thou bring us ! Siena, Siena, the physician will 
come who will cure thee of thy madness." 2 

The first attempt of the powers of Spain and the 
Empire to avenge their discomfiture failed signally. At 
the beginning of 1553, a great army of Germans, 
Spaniards and Italians under Don Garcia de Toledo 
(the brother-in-law of Duke Cosimo) invaded the 
dominion of the Republic, occupied the Valdichiana, 
took Pienza, and captured Monticchiello after a heroic 
defence in which the garrison of the little castle, com- 
inanded by Adriano Baglioni, only surrendered when 
all the powder for the arquebuses was spent and they 
were reduced to fighting with stones. In the Maremma, 
Cornelio Bentivoglio sallied out of Grosseto and routed 
the imperial reinforcements that had landed at Piombino 
from Sicily. In the latter part of March the invading 
army laid siege to Montalcino, which Giordano Orsini 

1 Sozzini, p. 93. 

* Cardinale, Cardinale, 

Tu ci rechi poco sale ; 
Siena, Siena, verra il medico, 
E ti guarira dal farnetico. 

Quoted in Rondoni, Siena nd secolo xvi. p. 250. For other 
prophetic doggerel of the same kind ascribed to Brandano, see 
Olmi, / Seneti d'una -voi'tii, p. 270. Brandano died in Siena 
during the siege, in May 1554. 


The Last Days of the Republic 

at the head of two thousand infantry defended for the 
Republic, with the utmost valour and heroically sup- 
ported by the inhabitants, for more than two months. 
On the night of the I4th of June, the Sienese saw great 
fires blazing round Montalcino, and on the morning of 
the 1 5th heavy clouds of smoke still hung over it. The 
appearance of the French and Turkish fleets off the 
shores of Italy had forced Don Garcia to raise the 
siege ; he had burned his lodgings, and was about to 
hurry southwards for the defence of Naples. " Now," 
writes the diarist of Montalcino, " whoso this morning 
had seen our afflicted city in such great gladness and 
triumph, would have made the hardest heart grow tender. 
When the bells had ceased ringing, Masses have been 
celebrated and there has been a devout procession around 
the piazza, with such great contrition ; all injuries have 
been forgiven, men have gone to embrace one another 
and to give the kiss of peace; always thanking God and 
the Most Holy Virgin, our protectress, that in their 
pity and mercy they have deigned to deliver us from so 
great a disaster." * 

In the meanwhile, through the intrigues of Cosimo, 
who was only biding his time for the Marzocco and the 
Lupa to be bound together in his golden chain, a con- 
spiracy had been formed in Siena, to admit the Florentines 
through the Porta Ovile and expel the French. It was 
discovered ; the three principal conspirators, Giulio Salvi, 
Captain of the People, his brother Ottaviano, Proposto 
of the Duomo, and the canon Gismondo Vignali, were 
beheaded in the cortile of the Captain of Justice the 
two priests having been degraded in the Sala del Consiglio 
on the previous day. But the Sienese factions continued, 
even in the face of the imminent danger. The French 
agents themselves were divided, Monsieur de Termes 

1 Giornale dell 1 Assedio della Citta di Montalcino printed in the 
Archi-vio Storico Ita/iano, Appendix, vol. viii. 

2 3 I 

The Story of Siena 

taking one side, the Cardinal of Ferrara the other. 
" And always as many of them as were sent to us from 
the King, up to the last, behaved in this fashion, as 
though the discords of the city of Siena were like to a 
contagious illness, so that whoever came near them was 
obliged to take part in them." 1 

The breathing space was but short. With the new 
year, 1554, the tempest burst upon Siena. Piero Strozzi, 
the deadliest enemy of the Duke of Florence, came to 
the city as vicar-general of the Most Christian King in 
spite of Orlando Malavolti, then one of the Eight of War, 
who urged that he should not be received without an 
express order from France, as it would give an excuse 
to the Duke to declare war, being a breach of one of 
the conditions, which stipulated that the Sienese should 
not shelter Florentine/won/jr///. In his history, Malavolti 
remarks upon the analogies between this last war of Siena 
and that ancient one of Montaperti, both begun by the 
Florentines on the pretext that the Sienese had broken 
treaties by receiving their exiles ; and he declares bitterly 
that Strozzi, unlike Giordano, " had intentions quite other 
than the defence and salvation of the city of Siena," that 
he had sent away a number of the soldiers, and left un- 
protected the forts outside Porta Camollia. Similarly, 
Sozzini declares that Piero's coming was held to be the 
ruin of Siena, since it brought the Duke of Florence into 
the field, without whom the Caesarian Majesty could have 
done them little harm. 2 But these are mere words ; 
Strozzi or no Strozzi, Cosimo and Charles were equally 
bent upon the subjugation, complete and final, of Siena. 

The armies of the Emperor and the Duke of Florence 
entered the dominions of the Republic, under the com- 
mand of the last and most formidable of the condottieri, 
Gian Giacomo de' Medici, Marchese di Marignano. The 

1 Malavolti, iii. 10, p. i6o. 

2 Ibid. p. 161 ; Sozzini, pp. 157, 158. 
2 3 2 

The Last Days of the Republic 

sudden capture, on the night of January 26th, 1554, of the 
forts outside the Porta Camellia began that last tremendous 
war of the Sienese, that siege no less heroic and more 
prolonged than that of Florence twenty-four years before 
in which the last great Republic of the Middle Ages 
died a giant's death. The war lasted till the April of the 
following year, both round the city and in the contado, 
and was most ruthless in its character. For ten miles 
around, the once smiling country became a desolate, fire- 
stained and blood-soaked wilderness a few trees being 
left standing, merely that the Spaniards might hang the 
hapless contadini who attempted to bring supplies through 
their lines to the starving people in the beleaguered city. 
The earlier engagements mostly resulted in favour of 
the Sienese with their French allies and German mer- 
cenaries. At first they had so many prisoners in their 
hands that, when the Marchese di Marignano raised a 
gallows on the captured forts, they raised another on tlie 
citadel, and threatened to hang ten of their prisoners for 
every one that the imperialists executed a threat averted 
by the intervention of the Spanish soldiers themselves, who 
sent a message to Strozzi that they would force their own 
general to act a buonaguerra ; which, alas ! was held only 
to apply to combatants, and not always even to them. 

At the beginning of June the Cardinal of Ferrara, 
tardily obeying the summons of the King, left the city, 
and went home with a safe conduct ; French and Swiss 
reinforcements arrived under the command of Blaise de 
Montluc, afterwards Marshal of France, who came to 
take charge of the city that Strozzi might have a free 
hand elsewhere. There had been some question as to 
the safety of sending this dashing Gascon to Siena ; his 
enemies assured the king that he was (to use his own 
phrase) un des plus coleres hommes du monde, et le plus 
bisarre^ and that, " considered the humours of the Sienese, 
it would be fire against fire." As it turned out, his 

2 33 

The Story of Siena 

dauntless heroism, his never failing high spirits (even 
when he lay at the point of death), his amazing harangues 
(for he prided himself upon his Italian, and had got up 
some Sienese history to serve his need ), chimed in precisely 
with the temper of the people, and the name of the gallant 
Gascon general is ever to be linked with that of the 
glorious Italian republic, whose liberties he was to 
defend. The third book of his Commentaires, taken 
with the Diario of Alessandro Sozzini, lets us follow 
every phase of the siege. He found, he tells us, that 
"the Sienese were stark mad of fighting, and I do 
believe, fighting for their liberty, would have played 
the devils/' The heroic devotion of the ladies of the 
city to whose prayers he professed to owe his recovery 
from sickness especially moved his enthusiasm : 

" It shall never be, you Ladies of Siena, that I will 
not immortalise your names so long as the Book of 
Montluc shall live ; for in truth you are worthy of im- 
mortal praise, if ever women were. At the beginning of 
the noble resolution these people took to defend their 
liberty, all the ladies of Siena divided themselves into 
three squadrons ; the first led by Signora Forteguerra, 
who was herself clad in violet, as also those of her train, 
her attire being cut in the fashion of a Nymph, short, 
and discovering her buskins : the second was the Signora 
Piccolomini, attired in carnation satin, and her troop in 
the same livery ; the third was the Signora Livia Fausta, 
apparelled all in white, as also her train, with her white 
ensign. In their ensigns they had very fine devices, 
which I would give a good deal I could remember. 
These three squadrons consisted of three thousand ladies, 
gentlewomen and citizens ; their arms were picks, shovels, 
baskets and bavins ; and in this equipage they made their 
muster, and went to begin the fortifications. Monsieur 
de Termes, who has often told me this story (for I was 
not then arrived at Siena), has assured me that in his 

The Last Li ays of the Republic 

life he never saw so fine a sight. I have since seen their 
ensigns, and they had composed a song to the honour of 
France, for which I wish I had given the best horse I 
have that I might insert it here." 1 

This first comparatively bright and hopeful phase of 
the struggle ended with the summer. Piero Strozzi with 
the flower of the French army retreated from the city, 
hoping to make a diversion, to unite with reinforcements 
that he expected, to carry the war into Florentine 
territory. At the beginning of August he came to a 
pitched battle with Marignano's forces, on the hills of 
Scannagalli near Marciano in the Valdichiana. Over 
his army, together with the golden lilies of France, there 
floated a green banner with the Dantesque text : Liberia 
vo cercando, " I go seeking Liberty." Under a blazing 
sun, Swiss and Frenchmen, Spaniards, Germans and 
Italians, dashed together in a terrible melee ; but the 
victory on the part of Spain and the Empire was com- 
plete and crushing. Four thousand men of Strozzi's 
army are said to have been killed. The hospitals of 
Siena were filled to overflowing with the wounded, who 
made their way in from the scene of disaster ; while the 
rest limped slowly along the streets or lay about in the 
squares, utterly broken in spirit, wailing for aid. No 
one who beheld this piteous spectacle, says Sozzini, 
" could have possibly kept back his tears, even if he had 
had a heart of hardest stone." It was said that the 
defeat had been caused by the treachery of a French 
ancient though Montluc will not assert this and 
Strozzi, while he lay helpless with his wounds at 
Montalcino, got the man into his hands, extorted a con- 
fession by torture, and executed him together with one 
of his own officers to whom he ascribed his overthrow. 

The doom of Siena was now sealed. The imperialists 

1 In this and subsequent quotations from Montluc I have 
availed myself of Cotton's translation of the Commentaries. 


The Story of Siena 

drew their lines closer and closer round the city, while 
the heroism of Montluc and of the Sienese themselves 
prolonged the resistance for eight months. There were 
the usual attempts to storm Heaven on behalf of the 
Republic. The " Madonna deile Grazie " was carried 
through the city preceded by three hundred little girls, 
white-robed and barefooted, crying : Chris te audi nos ! 
And then procession was made with the wooden Crucifix 
of the Duomo, said to have been that carried by the 
victors of Montaperti, with all the children of the Spedale 
and a thousand young maidens of the city walking in front, 
followed by the Disciplinati of Our Lady, all the friars 
and clergy, and, after the Crucifix, a great multitude of 
men and women. Then it was decreed that the " use- 
less mouths," le bocche disutili^ should be expelled from 
the city ; and these sweet voices of the children grew 
silent. Four officials specially appointed, the Quattro 
sopra le bocche disutili, on September 22nd at nightfall, 
drove out more than a thousand men, women and children, 
weeping with sorrow and terror. Then Piero Strozzi, 
who had temporarily returned to Siena with the Arch- 
bishop and others, bade the Rector of the Spedale expel 
700 more, in order that the soldiers might make use of 
the supply of grain that the Spedale possessed, an escort 
being promised to guard them out of danger. On 
October 5th, 250 little children, from six to ten years 
old, mostly in litters, with a number of men and women, 
passed out of the Porta Fontebranda, escorted by four 
companies of soldiers. They fell into an ambuscade, a 
number of them were slaughtered and the rest driven 
back towards the city. " And next morning they were 
all outside Porta Fontebranda (at the place where the 
annual market of the pigs is held), all lying on the 
ground with the greatest cries and lamentations. It was 
the most pitiful sight to see these little despoiled children, 
wounded and beaten, lying on the ground, and would 


The Last Days of the Republic 

have made a Nero weep. And I would have payed 
twenty-five scudi not to have seen them ; for, for three 
days, I could neither eat nor drink anything that did me 
good." 1 The Rector of the Spedale resigned his post, 
rather than be a party to any further cruelty of this kind. 
A few weeks later, a number of the elder children, from 
ten to fifteen years old, were sent out openly in the day- 
time without any escort, under the impression that the 
enemy would let them pass. They went out by the 
Porta Pispini, tutti piangendo, and came back at midday, 
stripped to their shirts, "and returning to the Spedale 
two and two, as in procession, they moved the folk to 
such compassion that many wept/' 2 Presently they 
were reduced to wandering through the city, knocking 
at the doors of those who had been wealthy, begging for 
a morsel of bread. But all this was mercy itself, com- 
pared to the fate of the bocche dtsutili later, and compared 
to what was done elsewhere. At Turrita, in the contado, 
a band of Germans in the Florentine pay crucified an old 
woman, under circumstances of appalling atrocity, for 
cursing the Duke of Florence and for crying Lupa, Lupa, 
when they bade her shout Duca. 

Piero Strozzi now left Siena to its fate, in a vain hope 
of collecting reinforcements elsewhere. The Archbishop 
Francesco Bandini, Enea Piccolomini and others broke 
through the Spanish lines, and escaped to Montalcino. 
Montluc was made Dictator. Too long would it 
take to tell here in full detail the whole story of 
protracted heroism; the incessant bombardment; the 
assaults repulsed time after time; the gallant sallies of 
the besieged ; the games that they still played at 
intervals in the Campo interrupted by the sudden 
call to arms at one of which, a vigorous giuoco 
delle pugna, Montluc wept for mingled joy and pity 
at their valour. The ladies of Siena now laying 

1 Sozzini, Diario, p. 307. 2 Of. c'tt. p. 317. 

2 39 

The Story of Siena 

aside the sportive spirit and gay dresses in which they 
had at first worked laboured again on the fortifica- 
tions, and in destroying the buildings, where these en- 
cumbered the movements of the soldiers ; especially at the 
Porta Ovile, which had become the most dangerous 
place in the city, since the Marchese had planted 
artillery upon the hill between it and the Osservanza. 
At last the brave German mercenaries of France 
grew impatient at the lack of bread and wine, and 
Montluc sent them out of the city, to join the 
flying army that Strozzi was supposed to be raising. 
Once more all the bocche disutili were expelled but 
this time there was no mercy shown them by friend 
or foe. 

" The list of these useless mouths," writes Mont- 
luc, " I do assure you amounted to four thousand 
and four hundred people, or more, which of all the 
miseries and desolations that I have ever seen was the 
greatest my eyes ever yet beheld, or that I believe I 
shall ever see again ; for the master was thereby 
necessitated to part with his servant, who had served 
him long, the mistress with her maid, besides an 
infinite number of poor people, who only lived by 
the sweat of their brows ; which weeping and desola- 
tion continued for three days together ; and these poor 
wretches were to go through the Enemy, who still 
beat them back again towards the City, the whole 
camp continuing night and day in arms to that only 
end ; so that they drove them up to the very foot of 
the walls, that they might the sooner consume the 
little bread we had left, and to see if the City out of 
compassion to those miserable creatures would revolt. 
But that prevailed nothing, though they lay eight 
days in this condition, where they had nothing to eat 
but herbs and grass, and above the one half of them 
perished, for the Enemy killed them, and very few 

The Last Days of the Republic 

escaped away. There were a great many maids and 
handsome women, indeed, who found means to escape, 
the Spaniards by night stealing them into their quarters, 
for their own provision ; but it was unknown to the 
Marquis, for it had otherwise been death ; and some 
strong and vigorous men also forced their way, and escaped 
by night. But all those did not amount to the fourth 
part, and all the rest miserably perished." 

Even more horrible is the description given by 
Scipione Bargagli of the fate of these hapless victims, 
inclosed between the walls of their countrymen and 
the trenches of the foe, their bodies devoured by the 
birds and starving dogs, who frequently returned to 
the city with the skulls or bones. 1 

Treachery failed to induce a surrender, but the agony 
of the city had become unendurable. When March 
came, there was not a drop of wine left in Siena ; all the 
horses but two, all the mules and asses and rats, had been 
eaten ; it was necessary to make costly sallies in order 
that the women and children might pick grass and herbs 
outside the walls. The ladies could no longer be 
recognised by their features. People fell dead in the 
streets, and the trenches were brought up to the very 
gates. But the imperial army had begun to suffer too, 
and there was nothing on the ground for the horses to 
eat, from Montalcino to Siena and from Siena to 

An appeal to the Pope failed. Although Julius III. 
was Sienese on his mother's side, he coldly recommended 
an unconditional surrender to the Caesarian Majesty. 

1 Trattenimenti, i. pp. 8-10. He adds hideous details of their 
mutilation at the hands of the Spaniards, which have too fre- 
quently been quoted ; Sozzini (who tells us that on one occasion 
the Spaniards succoured the fugitives, p. 376) mentions once 
that some contadini had their noses and ears cut off, but neither 
he nor Montluc gives any other hint of the peculiar hideous- 
ness and atrocity of Bargagli's version. 

Q 2 4 I 

The Story of Siena 

Once more the city was solemnly offered up to the 
Madonna ; there were wild, useless appeals to Venice 
and the Duke of Ferrara to interpose. Then, no help 
being forthcoming from heaven or earth, the starving 
Sienese capitulated to the Emperor through the Duke of 
Florence, in April 1555. On April 2ist the French 
marched out of the Porta Romana, Montluc receiving 
a well-deserved ovation from the enemy. With them 
went a number of Florentine exiles and others, " exiles 
and rebels to the State of the Emperor, the King of 
England (who was King Philip) and the Duke of 
Florence " ; for Montluc had insisted upon a clause 
in their favour being inserted into the capitulation, and 
the Marchese di Marignano himself had no desire of 
glutting the Medicean headsman with more blood. With 
them went a number of Sienese headed by Mario Bandini 
(the last Captain of the People in free Siena), Fabio 
Spannocchi, who was one of the Priors, and Giulio 
Vieri, one of the three Gonfalonieri. These were about 
800 in all, men, women and children ; the old women 
and some of the children went on carriage mules, which 
Marignano had provided at Montluc's request, the rest 
tramping wearily on foot. The Spaniards had some 
pity, and succoured them with food on the way. " I had 
seen a sad parting," writes Montluc, "at the turning 
out the useless mouths ; but I saw as sad a one at the 
separation of those who went out with us and those who 
remained behind. In my life I never saw so sad a fare- 
well ; so that although our soldiers had in their own 
persons suffered to the last extremes, yet did they infinitely 
regret this woful parting, and that they had not the power 
to defend the liberty of these people, and I more than all 
the rest, who could not without tears behold this misery 
and desolation of a people, who had manifested themselves 
so devout for the conservation of their liberty and honour." 
Then, suddenly, all the bells of the churches and 

The Last Days of the Republic 

towers began to ring. The imperialists Spaniards, 
Italians, Germans marched in by the same gate. They 
entered quietly and in an orderly fashion, but made a 

freat shouting and uproar when they reached the Campo. 
urrounded by a splendidly equipped guard of German 
halberdiers, the Marchese di Marignano rode to the 
Duomo and had the Mass of the Holy Spirit solemnly 
sung. But the choristers broke down in sobs and tears, 
and the lamentations of the people drowned the music. 
Vast supplies of provisions, brought from Florence, 
appeared in the Campo ; white bread and wine, grain, 
fresh and salt meat, and eggs. The starving Sienese, 
rushing to buy, instantly s\vept the piazza clear of these 
provisions, like the advent of a sudden whirlwind. 

For some while the ultimate fate of the once mighty 
Republic hung in doubt. Cosimo had conquered as the 
lieutenant of the Emperor, and the latter first invested his 
own son, Philip II. of Spain, with Siena and its dominion 
as a vacant fief of the Empire. Philip ruled it for two years 
by means of the tyrannical Cardinal of Burgos, who, in 
defiance of the articles of the capitulation, began to build 
a fortress and filled the prisons with suspected persons. 
There was even some talk of ceding the Sienese State to 
Pope Paul IV., that he might invest his nephews, the 
CarafTa, with it. But at length Cosimo de' Medici had 
his will, and in July 1557, he obtained from Philip the 
investiture of Siena, its city and dominion, to be held as 
a fief from the King of Spain. But the Spanish monarch 
reserved to himself the seaboard of the late Republic 
including Talamone, Orbetello, Port' Ercole and Porto 
Santo Stefano which henceforth, until the eighteenth 
century, formed what were known as the Spanish 
Praesidia. 1 

1 See Mr Montgomery Carmichael's excellent and pic- 
turesque account of the Spanish Praesidia, in In Tuscany, pp. 

The Story of Siena 

But Montalcino still held out under French protection. 
Mario Bandini had carried off the public seals; and, 
although he sent these back after he had copied them, 
the Sienese in Montalcino, declaring that ubi cives, ibt 
patria, still represented the old Republic of Siena, 
coined money, and for some time kept a large portion of 

the Sienese State in 
obedience to them 
and France. Mario 
Bandini died there 
in 1558 ; that other 
hero of the last days 
of the Republic, Enea 
Piccolomini, had died 
a month before the 
capitulation of Siena 
itself. At length, 
the treaty of Cateau 
Cambresis, which de- 
cided the fate of 
Italy, decided the 
destinies of Montal- 
cino as well. The 
heroic little Republic 
sent two ambassadors 

to Cambresis, Bernardino Buoninsegni and Annibale 
Buonsignori, pleading either for liberty or for the rule of 
France. That failing, they capitulated in August 1559, 
to Spain and Cosimo upon honourable terms, and the 
Republic of Siena was a thing of the past. 

In 1561 Cosimo, Duke of Florence and Siena (he 
did not become Grand Duke until 1570), made his 
triumphant entry into Siena. Henceforth he ruled the 
city by means of a lieutenant-general and a Balla ap- 
pointed by himself; the other forms of republican 
government were preserved, as the Duke was anxious to 

Remains of a Mural To-wer 

The Last Days of the Republic 

attract back to Siena those whom Spanish brutality had 
driven away, but with hardly the shadow of any political 
authority. The great grand-ducal citadel of Santa Bar- 
bara, now that most pleasant of lounging-places at sunset, 
tells its own story. 

Deprived of liberty and independence, without even 
the showy compensation of the presence of a Court, 
Siena became a kind of glorified provincial city. The 
energies of nobles and people alike manifested themselves 
in the numerous academies for which the Sienese were 
always famous, in the wild sports of the contrade, in the 
social and literary gatherings, veglie and trattenimenti, 
which became proverbial throughout Italy. 

For the rest, Siena followed the fortunes of the Grand 
Duchy of Tuscany, and shared in the great national 
awakening of Italy that our own days have seen. 

Through the City of the Virgin 

AT the famous Croce del Travaglio, where the 
Bohemian Caesar learned to respect the might of a 
free people and Giovanni Martinozzi routed the hireling 
soldiery of the last of the Petrucci, the three chief streets 
of Siena lead off into the three Terzi : the Via Cavour 
into the Terzo di Camellia, the Via Ricasoli into the 
Terzo di San Martino, the Via di Citta into the Terzo 
di Citta. 

" In every good city," so runs a report of a com- 
mission of the Council of the People in 1398, "pro- 
vision is made for the adornment and improvement of 
the city. And you have this your piazza of the Campo 
which is the most beautiful that exists, and you had that 
ornament of the Strada de' Banchi which began at the 
piazza of the Tolomei and came down as far as Porta 
Salaia, such that, neither in Venice nor in Florence nor 
in any other town in this country, was there a more 
beautiful street. Now it is spoilt ; for shoemakers and 
tailors have returned to it, and it is spoilt. Let therefore 
our Signori choose four citizens, who shall have to 
embellish it, so that the bankers shall be together in one 
part of it, the drapers and goldsmiths in another, the 
furriers and armourers in another, and that within these 
limits no other trades can be exercised save those that 
shall be ordained by these four." 1 During the 

1 Nuovl Document^ p. 76. 
2 4 6 

7 'he Terzo di Citta 

fifteenth century, there was a regular magistracy of three 
citizens elected annually to have the full authority of 
the General Council in all matters pertaining to the 
adorning of the city ; they were called the Ufficiali sopra 
Sornato, and were even empowered to force people to 
sell houses and sites, when these, from jealousy or other 
motives, were preventing wealthy citizens from building 
goodly palaces, bellissimi casamenti "the which thing 
causes shame and damage to the city." 1 

The street referred to in the above document now 
includes the first sections of the Via Cavour and Via di 
Citta, and is the most animated part of Siena. Turning 
up the Via di Citta, we have on our left the Loggia di 
Mercanzia, the meeting-place of the merchants of the 
Republic, the centre of the commercial life of the city 
in the fifteenth century, which afterwards became the 
Casino de' Nobili. It was designed by Sano di Matteo 
in 1416, and mainly executed about 1438 by Pietro del 
Minella, in a style (like that of the Loggia dei Lanzi 
at Florence) intermediate between Gothic and Renaissance. 
Of the saints on the facade, St Peter and St Paul are by 
Vecchietta, Victor, Ansanus and Savinus by Antonio 
Fedcrighi ; the two marble seats, to right and left, are 
by Federighi and II Marrina respectively. On the right, 
past the meeting-place of the Accademia de' Rozzi (an 
institution dating from the early part of the Cinquecento), 
under a kind of colonnade begin the curious Via dei 
Beccari, the street of the butchers, with the oxhead of 
their guild prominently displayed (becoming presently the 
most picturesque of Siena's old streets, the Via della 
Galluzza), and the long Via Fontebranda. Then, on the 
left, the Costa dei Barbieri leads down into the Campo ; 
here in old times was the Porta Salaia, the name of which 
is still preserved in the Vicolo di Macta Salaia, a little 

1 Nuovi Document!) p. 75. These officers were first appointed 
in 1413. 


The Story of Siena 

further on. Guarding the Costa is a fine old tower, 
called of the '* Sette Seghinelle," with various armorial 
bearings ; opposite it, on the right side of the Via di 
Citta, the Podesta lived, before the building of the present 
Palazzo Comunale. 

Opposite the Costa, the Via dei Pellegrini leads off to 
the Baptistery. On the right is the Palazzo Bindi 
Sergardi, with ceiling frescoes by Beccafumi, which were 
greatly admired in their day, and gained for him the 
commission to decorate similarly the Sala di Concistoro. 
On the left, at the foot of the Baptistery, is the famous 
Palace of the Magnifico, built for Pandolfo Petrucci in 
the early years of the Cinquecento from the design of 
Giacomo Cozzarelli, who also cast the splendid metal 
work on the exterior. The arms of the Petrucci are 
still to be seen under what was the chief entrance, but 
the lower part of the palace is very squalid now. Of 
the frescoes that Luca Signorelli, Girolamo Genga and 
Bernardino Pinturicchio painted for the Magnifico, there 
now remains nothing but a few fragments in one room, 
doubtfully ascribed to the last-named master. Hardly 
can we now conjure up in imagination the days when 
Machiavelli, coming here as ambassador of the Signoria 
of Florence, found Pandolfo after dinner surrounded by 
the chief men of his faction, whom he had invited to 
talk over the matter, or when Borghese gathered together 
all the loveliest women of Siena at a banquet to do 
honour to the younger Lorenzo de* Medici. 

From the Costa de' Barbieri, the Via di Citta leads up 
into the very heart of old Siena the Castello Vecchio. 
On the left is the Palazzo Saracini, a Gothic palace of 
the thirteenth century completely restored, which came 
into the possession of the Saracini whose Saracen's 
head and eagle adorn the fa9ade at the beginning of the 
seventeenth century. In the olden days it was the 
Palazzo Marescotti, and the tower that we see, if not in 




The Terzo di Citta 

all respects the same, undoubtedly stands upon the site 
of the one from which Cerreto Ceccolini announced the 
varying fortunes of the battle of Montaperti. In the 
courtyard is a statue of Pope Julius III. (1550-1555), 
Giovanni Maria del Monte, whose mother belonged to 
the house of the Saracini. The palace contains a large 
collection of pictures in a long series of rooms. A few 
only are of importance. Here are several pictures by 
Beccafumi, conspicuous among which is a large altarpiece, 
curiously imitating the style of Fra Bartolommeo's 
stately creations in this kind and representing the 
Sposalizio of St Catherine of Siena, in the presence of 
St Peter and St Paul and other Saints. It was originally 
in Santo Spirito. " This work," says Vasari, " which 
was executed with much judgment and design, gained 
for him great honour." Here is also what is said to be 
the first sketch of Beccafumi's Nativity in San Martino. 
There are two characteristic Madonnas by Neroccio di 
Bartolommeo Landi. Andrea del Brescianino is re- 
presented by a Holy Family, two exceedingly beautiful 
tondi very much above his usual level, and a small 
painted shrine. An attractive Florentine portrait of a 
golden-haired girl in a red dress, with the attributes of 
St Catherine of Alexandria, shown as a Botticelli, is 
ascribed by Mr Berenson to Sebastiano Mainardi, the 
painter of San Gimignano. The earlier works by 
Giovanni di Paolo, Sassetta and others, are mostly 
unimportant. There is an excellent modern picture by 
Amos Cassioli representing the visit of Galeazzo Maria 
Sforza to Lorenzo de' Medici in 1471. In one of the 
rooms of the palace there is a small Madonna, much 
repainted, by Sano di Pietro. 

On the right is the Palazzo Piccolomini "delle 
Papesse," adorned with the arms of the Piccolomini and 
now occupied by the Banca d'ltalia, begun in 1460 by 
the sister of Pope Pius II., Caterina Piccolomini, who in 


The Story of Siena 

the October of that year petitioned the Signoria for 
exemption from the Gabella for the various stones and 
marbles required, on the grounds that " the said Madonna 
Caterina intends and wishes to make the said house in 
the most noble fashion and with great cost, to the honour 
of this magnificent city and of your Magnificences and 
lofty Lordships." 1 In style it shows a peculiar har- 
monising of the Sienese Gothic with the domestic archi- 
tecture of the Florentine Quattrocento. The fa$ade is 
an effective combination of a rusticated basement with 
smooth grey stone above. The original designer was pro- 
bably Bernardino Rossellino, the Florentine master whom 
Pius was employing at Pienza, the actual architects 
Antonio Federighi and Urbano da Cortona. The 
work was interrupted in 1472, owing to Madonna 
Caterina's Jack of means, and finished in 1595 by the 
Archbishop Ascanio Piccolomini. In the days of this 
latter genial prelate the palace was a great centre for 
social gatherings, " to hearken to gracious discussions, 
judicious discourses, and also disputations touching every 
noble matter." 2 

Beyond the Palazzo delle Papesse is the Palazzo 
Marsili, a Gothic edifice in red brick one of the oldest 
in Siena, but practically rebuilt by Luca di Bartolo in the 
middle of the fifteenth century. Between these two, 
the Via del Castoro leads up through the abandoned 
fa9ade into the Piazza del Duomo. In the days when 
it was proposed to build the new Cathedral, the Palazzo 
delle Papesse naturally did not exist, and in its place 
there would have been a piazza with the chief approach 
to the Duomo. At the end of the Via di Citta is the 

1 Nuovi Document!, p. 2OI. She says that she has had the 
house designed by uno valentissimo maestro ; but does not name 
him. See also P. Rossi, L'Arte Senese nel Quattrocento, pp. 

2 Bargagli quoted by A. Marenduzzo, Veglie e Trattenimenti 
Seneti, p. 14. 

2 5 2 

The Terzo di Citth 

grey tower, half stone and half brick, of the Forteguerri 
de* Grandi, one of the oldest noble families of Siena, 
which was originally connected by a bridge with the 
palace opposite, which was also of the Forteguerri (later 
one of the numerous palaces of the Piccolomini). It 
was here that Niccolo Borghesi was murdered in June, 
1 500. He was returning from Mass at the Duomo with 
several armed servants for he had been warned that 
Pandolfo was meditating violence and passing down the 
Via del Capitano, when Pandolfo's emissaries set upon 
him, killed his servants on the spot, and left him with 
just enough life to crawl to the foot of the tower, where 
he was taken into the house of Giovanni Borghesi, 
to die with that harmonious blending of the devout 
Christian and the Stoic philosopher that had characterised 
him throughout. 

The Via di Citta ends in the Piazza di Postierla, 
whence the Via del Capitano, Via Stalloreggi, and Via 
di San Pietro diverge. There is a " Lupa " of the 
Quattrocento in the square, with a banner-holder in the 
fine metal-work of the same epoch. In the fifteenth 
and sixteenth centuries the Postierla was a favourite 
resort of the Sienese nobility, one of the most fashion- 
able places in the city. During the siege, the four ladies 
of Scipione Bargagli's Trait enlmenti Clarice, Celia, 
Olinda and Clizia met in Clarice's house, which was 
one of those with windows that looked out upon the 
Postierla. They were " all certainly as young and 
pleasing, as they were clever and honest" ; and, it being 
the Sunday of the Carnival, they resolved, in spite of the 
cruel enemies of the Republic, to keep the three days of 
the Carnival, as Clarice suggested, " with some form of 
pleasant and gentle conversation, according to what will 
be most agreeable to us all." But men were needed to 
make the plan a success. " Indeed," said Celia, " our 
delight, however great, would not have its savour unless 


The Story of Siena 

the presence, at once grave and sweet, of a man brought its 
condiment to it." And at that moment there appeared 
five young men of the city, coming up the street, of 
course as wise and admirable as they were rich and noble. 
" In these ardent youths, neither hardships nor loss of 
means, nor of parents or friends, nor the danger that 
hung over themselves, had ever been able to cool, much 
less quench, that quick amorous fire wherewith they, with- 
out any fuel, bore their breasts inflamed." At this sudden 
apparition the ladies gave devout thanks to Heaven in 
their hearts, and the bella ragunanza was complete. 

On the right of the Postierla is the handsome palace 
built by the Chigi in the latter part of the Cinquecento. 
In the Via del Capitano, on the left, is the palace where 
the Capitano della Guerra or Senatore resided, during the 
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. 1 Under its battle- 
ments runs a series of coats of arms of these captains or 
senators, among which the student of Dante will recognise 
the Lion of the Ordelaffi and the Column of the Colonna. 
The palace has been completely restored. The cortile, 
with a staircase guarded by the Lion of the People, 
somewhat resembles on a smaller scale the Palazzo 
del Podesta at Florence. The palace (which now 
belongs to the Count Piccolomini della Triana, as the 
arms on the shield which the Lion holds indicate) was 
sold by the Republic in the fifteenth century to Tommaso 
Pecci, one of the leaders of the Noveschi. In his days 
it was a centre of gay courtly life, and when distinguished 
visitors, especially those of the gentle sex, passed through 
Siena, they were usually entertained by the Republic in 
this palace. That noblest of ladies of the Renaissance, 
Eleonora of Aragon (the sister of Duke Alfonso of 
Calabria), on her way to Ferrara to become the wife of 

1 The Captain of War afterwards the Senator will not be 
confused with the Captain of the People. The one was an 
alien noble, the other a Sienese burgher. 

2 54 


2 55 

The Terzo di Citta 

Ercole d'Este, stayed here for four days in June 1473. 
On Sunday, writes Allegretto, " the Commune of Siena, 
or rather the Signoria, arranged a most beauteous dance 
before the house of Tommaso Pecci in the street, and all 
the fair ladies and girls of Siena were invited. And my 
wife either lost there or had stolen from her a goodly 
knife, ornamented in silver, which cost me eighteen lire 
the pair. And in the street there was arranged a great 
vat of forty measures, divided in half, and a column in 
the middle upon which were a lion and a wolf, so that 
the lion threw white wine on one side of the vat and the 
wolf threw red wine on the other side, and a fountain in 
the midst between the lion and the wolf threw water. 
And in the vat stood always silver cups, in order that 
every one could drink. At the Loggia of the Officers 
of the Mercanzia, ninety-eight couples of ladies assembled 
and went to the dance in order, accompanied by as many 
youths, and in front of the house they danced until night- 
fall, when there was made a rich and fine collation of all 
kinds of confectionery." 1 

Opposite the Palazzo del Capitano, at the corner of 
the street and the Piazza del Duomo, is the Palazzo 
Reale, which Bernardo Buontalenti built at the end of 
the sixteenth century for the Medicean Grand Dukes of 
Tuscany. In part, it occupies the site of the palace of 
Giacoppo Petrucci in which his cruel and tyrannical son, 
the Cardinal RafFaello, resided. RafFaello left it to his 
nephew, Anton Maria Petrucci. It was here that the 
Emperor was lodged in 1536; from here Granvelle and 
Sfondrato made their " buonissima riforma " of the 
State, and afterwards the Cardinal Ippolito d'Este with 
his guard of Switzers. 

In the Via di San Pietro is the great red brick Palazzo 
Buonsignori, with a richly ornamented fa$ade, one of 
the finest private palaces in Siena in the Gothic style. It 

1 Diari Senesi, 775, 776. 

R 257 

The Story of Siena 

was originally built in the fourteenth century, but has a 
fine court and stairway of the Quattrocento. Between it 
and the steps to the church is a small Gothic palace of 
the thirteenth century (completely restored), known as 
the Casa della Pia. This was the house of Count 
Nello de' Pannocchieschi, whose fair fame (in spite 
of painters and novelists) recent research has cleared 
from the imputation of his having been the husband 
and therefore the murderer of La Pia, that hapless lady 
whom Siena made and Maremma unmade, whom the 
divine poet met among the dim shades of those who died 
a violent death. 1 San Pietro alle Scale, the parish 
church of San Pietro in Castelvecchio, is a structure of 
the thirteenth century, with a modernised fa9ade and 
interior. There are two small tondt by Sano di Pietro, 
representing the Archangel Gabriel and Santa Lucia, in 
the sacristy. The picture over the high altar, the Repose 
on the Flight into Egypt with a handsome swarthy 
Madonna, is a decidedly meritorious work by Rutilio 
Manetti. At the end of the Via di San Pietro the 
Porta dell* Arco leads out beyond the older circuit of 
walls which represented the limits of the city proper, 
until the Nine inclosed the suburb in the still standing 
walls of the fourteenth century. 

The Via Stalloreggi is the continuation of the Via di 
Citta as the Via di San Pietro is of the Via del Capitano. 
Inclosed by the two, bounded outside by the Via delle 
Cerchia and the Via Baldassare Peruzzi, is the oldest 
part of the city. At the corner of the Via di Castel- 
vecchio in the Via Stalloreggi, at a house once belonging 
to one of the Marescotti, is a fresco by Bazzi, " where a 
dead Christ, who is in the lap of His Mother, hath a 
marvellous grace and divinity." 2 The Via di Castel- 
vecchio intersects this oldest part of Siena. It is a tall, 
narrow winding street, in parts squalid, but with here and 

1 Purg. v. 133-136. 2 Vasari. 

2 5 8 



The Terzo di Citta 

there a sudden glimpse of a rose garden, or a fig tree in a 
little cortile bending its branches over the way. In the 
less picturesque Via San Quirico is the church of San 
Quirico, perhaps the oldest in Siena, but now modernised. 
By the side of it, an irritating piece of wall cuts off what 
should be a superb view of the Duomo. In the same 
street are the remains of the little church of Sant' Ansano 
in Castelvecchio, which was possibly the first baptistery 
of Siena and of which there is documentary evidence as 
far back as the year 88 1 . l Near it stands an old tower, 
the Rocchetta, which is probably the only remnant of 
the first castle and certainly the most venerable piece of 
masonry left in Siena ; according to the legend, it was 
here that St Ansanus himself was imprisoned by the 
Roman governor before his martyrdom. In the Via 
delle Murelle (now Via Tommaso Pendola) is the chapel 
of the Contrada della Tartuca. This part of Siena is 
rich in charitable institutions. On either side of the 
street is a great institute for the Deaf and Dumb, and in 
the refectory of an old convent of the Poor Clares (now 
the female side of the Institute) the Sisters of Charity 
show you a beautiful fresco of the Last Supper with 
scenes from the Passion above. It appears to be the 
work of some Sienese master of the latter part of the 
Quattrocento, who had, perhaps, seen Andrea del 
Castagno's rendering of the same theme in Santa 
Appollonia at Florence. The last house in the Via 
Stalloreggi, on the left, is the one in which Duccio painted 
his glorious masterpiece, and it was hither that the pro- 
cession came, to take it in triumph to its place beneath 
the cupola of the Duomo. Then we pass out of the old 
city, under the Arco delle due Porte, into the Piazza 
del Carmine, now a part of the Via Baldassare Peruzzi. 

The present church and convent of Santa Maria del 
Carmine were built early in the sixteenth century, 

1 V. Lusini, // "-t Giovanni di Siena, p. 14. 


The Story of Siena 

possibly from Peruzzi's designs ; the cloisters are par- 
ticularly graceful. The convent itself is of very ancient 
origin, and in the further cloister is the famous Pozzo 
della Diana which, however, may possibly have no 
connection, save by name, with Dante's cut at the vain 
hopes and foolish expenditure of the Sienese. 1 The 
church contains some good pictures : the Nativity of the 
Blessed Virgin by Bazzi ; the Ascension of Christ by 
Pacchiarotti ; the Adoration of the Shepherds, begun by 
II Riccio and finished by Arcangiolo Salimbeni. But 
finer than any of these is Beccafumi's St Michael casting 
down the rebellious Angels, over the altar opposite the 
chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, a work of much beauty 
and great imaginative power, enthusiastically but hardly 
excessively praised by Vasari. Baldassare Peruzzi, 
Messer Giorgio tells us, was never tired of praising it ; 
" and one day that I saw it with him, uncovered, as I 
was passing through Siena, I was struck dumb with admira- 
tion." The sacristy contains a statue of St Sigismund, 
ascribed to Giacomo Cozzarelli. The Palazzo Celsi 
opposite is ascribed to Peruzzi and contains three 
ceiling paintings attributed to him, ruined by repainting. 
From the Via Baldassare Peruzzi, the Via della Diana 
and the Via di San Marco lead to the most picturesquely 
placed of Sienese gates the Porta San Marco, outside 
which is a pleasant and shady piazzale with a view over the 
sweeping country to the distant hills, the Monastery of 
Sant' Eugenic standing out conspicuously on its eminence 
in the foreground. The picturesque Via delle Sperandie 
leads to the same gate, past a large abandoned convent 
the cloisters of which have been deserted even by the 

1 " That vain folk which hopes in Talamone, and will lose 
more hope there than in finding the Diana," Purg. xiii. 151- 
153. The Diana was a subterranean stream supposed to exist 
under Siena for which, in 1295, the General Council of the 
Campana decreed that the search should be undertaken. 



Terzo dt Citta 

soldiers, a frescoed Crucifixion alone remaining to show 
that it was once a religious place. 

The Via delle Cerchia, skirting the older circuit of 
walls, brings us to the piazza and church of Sant' 
Agostino, an ancient edifice completely modernised in the 
eighteenth century. Over the second altar on the right 
is the Crucifixion, a late work by Perugino, with a 
number of saints and the Madonna at the foot of the 
Cross; the group of St Augustine kneeling, with St 
Monica standing behind him, is finely conceived. The 
chapel of the Blessed Sacrament is the chapel of the 
Piccolomini ; the decorations of the altar were under- 
taken by the Archbishop Ascanio Piccolomini in 1596, 
"for the worship of God Almighty and the honour 
of his own family." The altarpiece, Bazzi's Adoration 
of the Magi, in spite of the blackening of the shadows 
and the overcrowding of the figures, is an exceedingly 
fine work, thoroughly Lombard in composition and feel- 
ing, the beautiful young King on the right curiously 
recalling Luini's types; "there is," says Vasari, "a 
head of a shepherd between two trees, which seems 
verily alive," and which is said to be the painter's own 
portrait. The picture was painted for two of the 
Arduini family, and the name and arms of the Arch- 
bishop Ascanio are obviously a later addition. On the 
left is a marble statue of Pius II. by Dupr, and on the 
right the Massacre of the Innocents by Matteo di 
Giovanni. This latter picture shows sufficient dramatic 
energy and sense of beauty to make us wish that these 
were displayed upon a less horrible subject. The groups 
of unconcerned children and the classical bas-reliefs remind 
us of Matteo's admirable work upon the pavement of the 
Duomo, but the king and soldiers are mere hideous 
caricatures. In the choir is a picture in three divisions 
a work in which Mr Berenson calls attention to the 
*' extraordinary grace of motion and beauty of line " 


The Story of Siena 

by Simone Martini, representing the blessed Agostino 
Novel Jo (a courtier of King Manfred, who became a 
hermit) and four scenes of his miracles. The later 
Sienese school is fairly well represented by a Way to 
Calvary by Ventura Salimbeni, and a curious picture (on 
the last altar to the left of the choir) by Rutilio Manetti, 
representing the Temptation of St Antony. Beyond 
Sant* Agostino is the Porta Tufi, so often mentioned in 
the story of Siena, outside which, on the site of the 
present Cimitero della Misericordia, was the famous 
convent of the Olivetani where Bernardo Tolomei 

From the piazza, the Via Sant' Agata leads down to 
the church of San Giuseppe, where, under a picturesque 
arch, we re-enter the older circle of walls by the Via 
Giovanni Dupr, in which the house is shown where 
Siena's great modern sculptor was born. 

Perhaps the most characteristic street of the Terzo di 
Citta is the Via del Casato, or more simply the Casato, 
which, running a winding course, joins the Via di San 
Pietro with the Campo. This was once the most 
aristocratic street in Siena, where the nobles and wealthy 
Noveschi surrounded themselves with armed retainers 
and gave those sumptuous entertainments that were a 
feature in the social life of the " soft " city. There are 
still old palaces on either side ; steep vicoli wind and 
radiate off from it, with sudden glimpses beyond of 
distant hills and towers. Where the present Palazzo 
Ugurghieri stands, and down the steep vicoli on either 
side, was once the palatial castle of the proud old house 
of the Ugurghieri, who, Lombard or Frank in origin, 
were descended from the Counts who in the ninth and 
tenth centuries governed Siena. 

Crossing the Campo, we enter the Terzo di San 
Martino at the Porrione, as the opening of the Via San 
Martino was called a point of strategical importance in 

The Terzo di San Martino 

the furious factions of mediaeval Siena. At the corner 
of the Via Rinaldini (originally the Chiasso Largo, the 
street of the silk merchants) is the superb grey Palazzo 
Todeschini Piccolomini, the Palazzo de' Papeschi, as it 
was called, now the Palazzo del Governo, adorned with 
the arms of the Picco- 
lomini and the Todes- 
chini. It was built for 
the nephews of Pius II., 
the sons of Nanni 
Todeschini, by the 
Sienese architect, Pietro 
Paolo Porrini called 
II Porrina, and begun 
in 1469 ; the Uffic'iali 
sofira FOrnato, on 
October 28th of that 
year, reporting to the 
Signoria that " the 
Palace begun by the 
Respectability of Messer 
Giacomo and Messer 
Andrea Piccolomini, 
will be a marvellous Via della Fonte 

work and a most 

worthy ornament in your city, according to the intention 
aad design of their Respectability." J The stone work, 

1 Document!, ii. p. 337 ; cf. Allegretto, Diari, 773. Notice 
the title Sptctabilita ; in a less democratic city than Siena, they 
would have been Megmjieenet. Incidentally, we may observe 
(a point frequently missed by English writers, especially of 
fiction dealing with the Italian Renaissance) that Magnificence 
was a much less pretentious title at the end of the Quattro- 
cento than it sounds to us now, being little more than the 
equivalent of " Your Worship " or " Your Honour " (though 
also applied to ambassadors) ; while Excellence was, until 
the middle of the sixteenth century, reserved for quasi-in- 


The Story of Siena 

within and without, was for the most part carved by 
Lorenzo di Mariano. This palace now contains the 
Archivio di Stato of Siena ; to do justice to its multifold 
interest, a book would be required larger than the 
present volume. In the Sala della Mostra a number 
of documents of all kinds are exhibited, illustrating 
Sienese life and politics from the year 736 downwards, 
including a whole series of Imperial diplomas from 
Louis the Pius in 813 to Charles V. in 1536. Here 
we may read, on the very parchment on which they 
were written, the letter from the Commune of Florence 
to that of Siena concerning the massacre of Cesena ; the 
bull of Pius II., with a postscript in his own hand, 
exhorting the Sienese to admit the nobles to the govern- 
ment; Giovanni Torriani, general of the Dominicans, 
announcing his intention of sending Frate Girolamo 
Savonarola to Siena to reform the convent of Santo 
Spirito ; or Cesare Borgia's ferocious threats of destruc- 
tion from Pienza. 1 There are special series of autographs 
of famous ladies and of soldiers of fortune, as also of 
artistic documents, such as the agreement between Frate 
Melano, Operaio of the Duomo, and Maestro Niccolo 
Pisano for the work of the pulpit (Sept. apth, 1266), 
and the assignment of the tavola of the high altar to 
Duccio di Buoninsegna (Oct. 9th, 1308). Here, too, 
are shown the documents of the last days of the once 
mighty Republic " II Governo della Difesa della 
Liberia Senese ritirato in Montalcino " down to the 
surrender of that last stronghold of Sienese liberty. 
There is, further, a whole collection of the utmost 

dependent potentates, such as the Duke of Ferrara or the 
Marquis of Mantua, ruling fiefs of the Church or Empire. 

1 See pp. 88, 89. In reading these documents, it should be 
borne in mind that the Sienese and Florentine year (but not the 
Roman) began on March 25th. The same rule applies to the 
dates on the Tavolette of the Biccherna and Gabella. 

The Terzo di San Martino 

interest to students of Dante of documents illustrating 
the Divina Commcdta, with the Will, testamento, of 
Messer Giovanni Boccaccio of Certaldo. 

Even more interesting than these, and absolutely 
unique of its kind, is the collection of Tavolettc dipinte 
della Biccherna e della Gabella^ the painted covers of the 
Treasury Registers of the Republic of Siena, which 
" offer a true museum of exquisite paintings, which is 
likewise a history of national sentiment \_del sentimento 
cittadino~\ 9 from Don Ugo, monk of San Galgano, seated 
at his desk of the Biccherna to regulate accounts and 
taxes with the feudatories, to the allegory of the sufferings 
endured during the last, heroical siege." * The officers 
of the Biccherna Camarlingo and four Provveditori 
administered the revenues of the State ; the officers of 
the Gabella Camarlingo and three, afterwards four, 
Esecutori were mainly concerned with the collection 
of taxes. Every six months a fresh set of Provveditori 
and Esecutori came in, fresh registers were begun, and at 
the end of the year the retiring Camarlinghi of Biccherna 
and Gabella (and sometimes the other officials) had the 
covers of the books of their term of office painted with 
their arms and those of their colleagues, and with either 
their portraits or some religious or allegorical device, or 
with the representation of one of the chief political 
events of the past year. This lasted until long after the 
fall of the Republic ; but by that time the old book 
covers had been replaced by regular pictures, but still, 
to show their origin, marked with the arms of the 
Camarlinghi and their colleagues. Here I need enu- 
merate only those tavolette or tavole that are more 
important, historically or artistically. For the registers 

1 Rondoni, Sena^etus, p. 37. For further information upon 
the Tavolette the reader may be referred to Mr W. Heywood's 
charming little book, A Pictorial Chronicle of Siena, to which I 
am indebted. 

The Story of Siena 

of the Biccherna in 1258, two years before Montaperti, 
we have the portrait (by Gilio di Pietro) of Don Ugo 
the Camarlingo, who was re-elected repeatedly, and 
whom we have already met in connection with the 
cession of Montepulciano to the Republic. Later on we 
frequently find the arms of the Podesta, and also the 
portrait of the Scrittore, or scribe, who had to make the 
entries as the Camarlingo dictated. For the Gabella 
of 1344? when the rule of the Nine was nearing the end 
of its triumphant course, we have the Government of 
Siena enthroned over the Lupa, painted by Ambrogio 
Lorenzetti ; for the Biccherna of 1385, after the fall 
of the Riformatori and the establishment of the new 
Monte del Popolo, there is a similar allegory by some 
later follower of the Lorenzetti, in which the citizens, 
bound together in the white bonds of pure concord, 
assemble before the Genius of the Commune. Apart 
from their great historical interest, many of the tavolette 
of the Quattrocento are little gems of Sienese painting. 
That of the Biccherna of 1433 represents the Corona- 
tion of the Emperor Sigismund ; the Biccherna of 1436 
gives us a striking St Jerome by an unknown painter ; 
the Gabella of 1440 and 1444, St Peter of Alexandria 
and St Michael, both ascribed to Giovanni di Paolo. 
The Tavoletta di Biccherna of 1449 shows the Corona- 
tion of Pope Nicholas V.; that of 1451 represents 
Ghino di Pietro Bellanti washing his hands in the 
presence of the Blessed Virgin, to manifest his loyalty 
and the purity of his administration whereas he was a 
traitor of the deepest dye who, five years later, was 
implicated in the plots to betray Siena to Piccinino and 
the King of Naples, and forced to fly for his life. The 
Tavoletta di Gabella of 1455, by an unknown artist, 
refers to the crusading zeal of Pope Calixtus III. ; it 
represents the Annunciation, between St Bernard, as the 
preacher of the second Crusade, and the Pope himself 

The Terzo di San Martino 

blessing the youths and maidens of Siena who took part 
in the processions that he ordered, to pray Heaven for 
the downfall of the Turk. 1 The curious design of the 
Biccherna of 1457, of the school of Sano di Pietro, is, 
according to Mr Heywood, "symbolical of the peace 
made between the Sienese Republic and the Count 
Jacopo Piccinino." Both tavolette, of the Biccherna 
and of the Gabella, of 1 460, are concerned with Pius 
II. ; in the one he is crowned by two Cardinals, under 
the special patronage of the Madonna, while Siena is 
seen below guarded by her lions of the People (probably 
a reference to the papal attempt to restore the nobles to 
the government) ; in the other, he confers the cardinal's 
hat upon his nephew, Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini; 
Mr Berenson ascribes the one to II Vecchietta, the other 
to Francesco di Giorgio Martini. Also by Francesco 
di Giorgio is the Biccherna cover for 1467, representing 
the Madonna with Angels protecting Siena in the time 
of the earthquake, when the people fled from their homes 
into huts and tents. For the Gabella of 1468, there is 
a quaint allegory of Peace and War, of uncertain 
authorship ; on the one side citizens pay in their money, 
and on the other the Camarlingo deals it out to the 
mercenaries, while genii of Peace and War hover in the 
air. 2 Then follow two exquisite little paintings by 
Sano di Pietro, the Tavolette di Gabella of 1471 and 
1473, respectively representing Wisdom proceeding from 
God, and the marriage of Lucrezia di Agnolo Malavolti 
(Messer Agnolo being one of the Esecutori in 1473) 
to Count Roberto da San Severino, a great Lombard 

1 Cf. Heywood, op. clt. p. 69. 

2 "The fury of arms having cooled down on every side, the 
Pope [Paul II.] easily found means to conclude an universal 
peace between the powers of Italy, wherein was named the 
Republic of Siena, in the name of which it was accepted and 
ratified by Messer Niccolo Severini, Sienese orator in Rome, 
in the month of May 1468." Malavolti, iii. 4, p. yob. 


The Story of Siena 

condottiere. In 1474, also Gabella and of doubtful 
authorship, we have a later version of the old allegory 
of good government ; Liberty, in the black and white of 
the Commune and holding the balzana^ sits between the 
Camarlingo and the Scrittore, with the legend : " He 
rules who ministers well." Until 1497 the pictures 
that follow all belong to the Gabella. For 1479 is the 
entry of the allied forces Sienese, Neapolitans, papalini 
into Colle di Val d'Elsa, an episode of the war 
against Florence in the days of Pope Sixtus IV. and 
Alfonso of Calabria ; while in 1 480, that year when 
the Duke's intrigues against the liberties of Siena came 
to a head, the Madonna is seen recommending the city 
to her Divine Son. Both are ascribed to Francesco di 
Giorgio, though the latter a singularly beautiful painting 
is attributed by Mr Berenson to Neroccio di Barto- 
lommeo Landi. Specially interesting (though of less 
artistic importance) is the tavoletta of 1483, which 
represents the solemn presentation of the keys of Siena 
to the Madonna delle Grazie in the Duomo, when all 
the four Monti were reduced to one. The painter has 
combined in one representation two of the great events 
of that year, which are thus described by Allegretto 
Allegretti, who in the previous August had himself been 
admitted to the Council of the People : 

" On Saturday, March 22nd, there was held a council 
of all the government, and there were 256 councillors 
present, in which a general resolution was brought 
forward on the motion of Messer Bartolommeo Sozzini, 
who was Captain of the People, concerning the well- 
being of the city and to make of all the government one 
Monte. It was supported by many persons, and carried 
by 245 white beans to 1 1 black. Afterwards a resolu- 
tion was carried to give a hundred lire in alms to 
churches, for prayers to God. And Messer Andrea 
Piccolomini moved that every year for Holy Mary of 

The Ter%o di San Martino 

March a palio should be run of the value of 50 florins. 
The beans were all white. He further moved that all 
the Council should accompany the Signori to the Duomo. 
And at the altar of the Madonna of the Duomo, to- 
gether with the Cardinal Malfetta, they offered up prayers 
and rendered thanks, and the Te Deum Laudamus was 
sung ; after which the Cardinal made one of his bishops 
attach to the said Madonna delle Grazie an indulgence 
of seven years and seven periods of forty days ; and in 
the evening salvos were fired and bells rang a gloria" * 

This was after the exclusion of the Noveschi from 
the government, but before their expulsion from the city 
after which latter event the scene represented in the 
tavoletta took place : 

"On the 24th day of August the old Signoria and 
the new, with the officers and orders of the city and with 
the greater part of the People, went to the Duomo and 
heard the High Mass, together with the Cardinal of 
Siena, the nephew of Pope Pius of the House of the 
Piccolomini. And when Mass had been said, Frate 
Mariano da Genazzano, of the Hermit Order of St 
Augustine, made a fine sermon. And when the sermon 
was ended, the Signoria, Cardinal, canons, and all the 
clergy and all the People went to the altar of the 
Madonna. After certain prayers, the Prior of the 
Signori, in the name of the magnificent Commune of 
Siena, offered up the keys of the City of Siena upon the 
altar of the said Madonna. Lorenzo d* Antonio di Ser 
Lorenzo was the old Captain of the People, and Andrea 
di Sano Batteloro was Prior, and Crescenzio di Pietro 
di Goro the new Captain. Then the Te Deum Laudamus 
was sung ; and of all these things the deed was drawn 
up by Ser Giovanni Danielli. The Cardinal took the 
keys as Procurator, and in the name of Our Lady gave 

i Diari Sent*;, 813. The Cardinal Malfetta is G. B. Cibo, 
afterwards Innocent VIII., cf. p. 76. 

s 273 

*Ihe Story of Siena 

them into the hand of the Prior of the Signori, recom- 
mending to him the city, that he should hold and govern 
it in the name of Our Lady, and that he should make no 
other contract concerning it. Then the Prior gave to 
each Gonfaloniere his keys." 1 

Perhaps in the two following years, stormy and blood- 
stained for Siena, it was not thought safe to venture 
upon politics in painting; at least the tavolette of 1484 
and 1485, by Guidoccio Cozzarelli, represent purely 
religious scenes the Presentation of Mary in the 
Temple and the Sacrifice of Isaac. Then in 1487 we 
have an allegory (ascribed by Mr Berenson to Fungai) 
of the triumphant return of the Noveschi the Sienese 
ship of State guided into harbour by the Madonna her- 
self. For the Gabella of 1489 we have another political 
religious allegory, the officials beseeching the Madonna 
and Child to visit their city once more. The Tavoletta 
di Biccherna of 1497 represents a band of horsemen 
entering Siena probably either the escort of the French 
ambassador or (I would suggest) the prowtsionati who 
were hired by the Balia in that year to support the pre- 
potency of the Monte de* Nove. The Tavoletta di 
Gabella of 1499 (perhaps by Guidoccio Cozzarelli) 
represents St Catherine receiving the Stigmata, and 
reflects the suddenly revived cult of her which was 
curiously noticeable as a kind of protest against the 
corruption of the Curia during the jubilee of the 
following year. For the Gabella of 1526 we have the 
splendid victory of Camellia, ascribed to Giovanni di 
Lorenzo Cini. For 1542 painted for the Camarlingo 
di Gabella, Conte del Rondina is an allegory of the 
reforms attempted by Granvelle and Sfondrato. The 
Sienese ship of State is borne safely to port over perilous 
seas by a great sail (gran ve/a), with a leafless tree 

1 Diari, 815, 816. The Lorenzo di Antonio mentioned is 
the Venturini who was executed in 1486 (see p. 78). 


The Terzo di San Martlno 

(sfrondato} for mast, while her predecessor has been 
shattered to pieces upon the rocks. 1 The Tavola di 
Biccherna of 1548 is a beautiful Madonna of the school 
of Beccafumi. Then come four pictures of the heroic 
last days of the Republic, all four ascribed to Giorgio 
di Giovanni; for both Biccherna and Gabella of 1552, 
the destruction of the Citadel that Don Diego had 
built; for the Biccherna of 1553, the defence of 
Montalcino ; for 1555, the last year of the free Re- 
public, an allegory of the siege St Paul with Siena in 
the background and the inscription : " All, who wish to 
live justly, suffer persecution." The Medicean arms 
appear in a tavoletta of 1558; after which, in 1559, 
the Biccherna gives us the treaty of Cateau Cambresis, 
the Gabella the surrender of Montalcino ; and in the 
Tavola di Biccherna of 1561 we see Cosimo de' 
Medici making his entry into Siena. After this, the 
note is changed. We have a few tavole dealing 
with the efforts of Christendom to roll back the Turk 
(1566, 1568, 1571), and with such events of universal 
interest as the Reform of the Calendar or the fall of 
Ferrara ; but, for the most part, the Camarlinghi under 
the new regime contented themselves with recording 
the domestic affairs of their Medicean masters in the 
spirit of a Court chronicle, or adding their tribute to 
the devotion to the Madonna of Proven zano. 

There are also some excellent miniature paintings 
shown here, especially by Sano di Pietro in the Statutes 
of the Arte di Mercanzia, 1472, and by Niccolo di Ser 
Sozzo Tegliacci representing the Assumption, 1336, one 
of the finest miniatures of the fourteenth century. 

Beyond the palace is the Piazza Piccolomini, with 
the Loggia del Papa that Antonio Federighi built for 
Pius II. in 1462, inscribed " Pius II., Supreme Pontiff, 

1 Cf. Sozzini, Diario, pp. 23, 24 (where, however, Gabella is 
confused with Biccherna), and Hey wood, op. cit. pp. 87, 88. 


The Story of Siena 

to his Kinsmen the Piccolomini" a kind of archi- 
tectural glorification of discriminating nepotism. The 
church of San Martino, in its present form, dates from 
the latter part of the Cinquecento. On the right of the 
entrance is the votive picture of the Battle of Camellia, 
commissioned by the Balia in honour of the Immaculate 
Conception in 1526, and painted by Giovanni di Lorenzo 
Cini. While the battle is raging outside the walls, 
Heaven opens and the Madonna appears with Angels, to 
protect her chosen city from papal aggression. Over 
the third altar on the left is a poetically conceived 
Nativity by Beccafumi, unfortunately much darkened, 
painted about 1523, with what Vasari calls un lallo di 
Angeli bellissimo exquisite Angels clustering round the 
Divine Child, or circling ecstatically round the Mystical 
Dove that hovers above the ruins of the pagan world. 
The marble framework of the altar is by II Marrina. 
The church contains also a Circumcision by Guido 
Reni. There was a great burning of vanities here in 
the piazza on June 1st, 1488, after a sermon by Fra 
Bernardino da Asti ; false hair, dice, cards, masks and 
the like were heaped together, with a figure of a devil on 
the top, and the whole fired. 

The Via di Salicotto or more simply styled Salicotto 
is the headquarters of the Contrada della Torre, the 
energetic rivals of the Oca. The tall ruined houses 
opposite the Palazzo Pubblico, the narrow viali with 
over-arching masonry, give it a most picturesque ap- 
pearance. Here, past where the Via de' Malcontenti 
runs into the Mercato, is the little church of San 
Giacomo, now the oratory of the Contrada. It was 
built in 1531, in commemoration of the great victory 
over the papal forces in 1526, and contains a famous 
miraculous picture of the Immaculate Conception the 
Madonna between St James and St Christopher painted 
in 1545 in honour of the same event by Giovanni di 

The Terzo di San Martino 

Lorenzo Cini, who was also one of the operai pre- 
siding over the construction of the oratory, and had 
himself fought in the republican ranks on the day of 
battle. 1 Further on are the church and convent of 
San Girolamo at present in the hands of the Sisters of 
Charity. In a niche in the cloister is a frescoed 
Assumption by Fungai. There are some good pictures in 
the church and sacristy, including a Madonna by Matteo 
di Giovanni, a St Jerome by Girolamo del Pacchia, 
and a Coronation of the Madonna by Sano di Pietro. 
The church of the Servites, or of the Santissima 
Concezionc, beyond the original circuit of walls, is a 
good early Renaissance building, raised between 1471 
and 1528. From its platform, especially at sunset, 
there is a fine view of Siena. In the right aisle are : the 
much venerated Vergine del Bordone, in the Byzantine 
style, painted in 1261 by a certain Coppo di Marcovaldo ; 
the Massacre of the Innocents, by Matteo di Giovanni 
quieter and less violent, but also less dramatic and 
no more convincing than his other representations of 
this subject with above it the Madonna and Child 
with Angels, and the two donors presented by their 
patron saints; and, up above Matteo's picture, a little 
Nativity, by Taddeo di Bartolo. In the left aisle is 
the Madonna del Belvedere, painted by Giacomo di 
Mino del Pellicciaio in 1363, his best work; the figures 
on either side, St Joseph with the Divine Child holding 
a crown of thorns, the Magdalene with the baby Baptist, 
are ascribed by Mr Berenson to Fungai. By Fungai 
too is the Coronation of the Madonna on the high altar. 
In the second chapels, to right and left of the choir, are 
the remains, much restored, of frescoes ascribed to 
Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti ; the Massacre of 
the Innocents and St Agnes, the Dance of the Daughter 

1 For various documents touching these votive pictures after 
the Battle of Camellia, see Nuovi Document}, pp. 434, 435. 


The Story of Siena 

of Herodias and the Resurrection of St John these 
latter somewhat recalling Giotto's work in Santa Croce. 
Over the sacristy door is the Madonna del Popolo, a lovely 
little picture by Lippo Memmi. In the sacristy is the 
Madonna del Manto, Our Lady taking the people of Siena 
under her protection, by Giovanni di Pietro, 1436, an 
otherwise almost unknown master. The Oratory of the 
Santissima Trinita, beyond the Servites, contains a 
Madonna by Neroccio Landi. 

To the left of San Girolamo is the Fonte San 
Maurizio, at the place, just outside the older circuit of 
walls, where the horse and cattle markets were held 
before the present fourteenth century walls were built. 
The arch over the beginning of the Via Ricasoli, with 
a seventeenth century fresco, representing the Blessed 
Trinity with St Maurice and St Jerome, marks the 
place of the old gate. The Via Romana runs out hence 
to the Porta Romana. On the left is a somewhat ruined 
palace, in the style of the Florentine Quattrocento, 
now known as the Rifugio, built about 1474, probably 
by Giuliano da Maiano, for the Abbot and monks of 
San Galgano, whose device of the sword stuck fast in the 
rock is seen still on the exterior. There is a curious 
petition of theirs to the Signoria, dated May 3ist, 1474, 
in which they explain that they have begun this palace, 
" having a desire to convert their little income to the 
honour and ornament of your City, and in some part to 
the perpetual utility of that Abbey of yours," and that, 
as times are bad, they want to be exempted from the 
Gabella, and to have further aid from the State. 1 Further 
on is the great Augustinian convent of the Santuccio, in 
the church of which the head of San Galgano is preserved 
in a richly decorated reliquary. The Porta Romana, 
formerly the Porta Nuova, was built early in the four- 
teenth century by Agostino di Giovanni and Agnolo di 

1 Nuovi Document!, p. 145. 

7 8 



The Terzo di San Martino 

Ventura ; the frescoed Coronation of the Madonna is by 
Taddeo di Bartolo and Sano di Pietro ; the distich in 
her honour was written later by Niccolo Borghesi. It 
is thus the same gate through which Enea Piccolomini 
led the French deliverers in 1552, and that witnessed 
these French march out in 1555, with the long line 
of republican exiles, and the triumphant entry of the 
Marchese di Marignano. A short way beyond the 
gate is the church of Sta. Maria degli Angioli, a build- 
ing of the latter part of the Quattrocento ; the altar- 
piece (in a rich frame by Antonio Barili), the Madonna 
and Child with four Saints, a lunette and predella, is 
signed and dated 1502, by RafTaello di Carlo, a Floren- 
tine painter, by whom there are also works in the Palazzo 
Corsini and Santo Spirito at Florence. In the sacristy 
is a standard painted with an Assumption by Riccio. 

The other south-eastern gate, the Porta Pispini, has 
the remains of a frescoed Nativity by Bazzi. Accord- 
ing to the legend, the name Pispini is derived from " II 
Santo viene," " the Saint cometh, " the cry raised by 
the people when the relics of St Ansanus were brought 
to the city. Outside the gate, a little to the left, is the 
modernised remnant of one of the bastions erected by 
Baldassare Peruzzi, as architect to the Republic. 

Santo Spirito, in the Via Pispini, is the chief church 
of the Dominicans in Siena, and its convent was one of 
those reformed by Savonarola. It was built about the 
year 1498; the cupola was designed by Giacomo 
Cozzarelli and built for Pandolfo Petrucci in 1 508, 
the facade designed in 1519 by Peruzzi for Girolamo 
Piccolomini, Bishop of Pienza. The first chapel on 
the left, the Borghesi Chapel, has a glorified Madonna 
worshipped by St Francis and St Catherine, with child 
angels, and two beautiful little winged genii standing at 
the tomb ; it is the finest of all Matteo Balducci's 
works, thoroughly Umbrian in feeling. On the right is 


The Story of Siena 

the Cappella degli Spagnuoli, decorated with frescoes 
(circa 1530), painted in the days of the first Spanish 
occupation of Siena by Bazzi ; the Madonna investing 
St Alphonso with the episcopal robes, in the presence 
of two radiantly beautiful virgin martyrs and Angels ; St 
James, represented as a Spanish knight in full armour, 
superbly mounted, slaying Saracens ; St Thomas and 
St Michael, St Sebastian and St Antony. The single 
figures are of the utmost beauty. The large terra-cotta 
group is by Ambrogio della Robbia. The statues of 
St Vincent Ferrer and St Catherine (the two followers 
of St Dominic who were found on opposite sides in the 
schism), in the second chapels, are ascribed to Giacomo 
Cozzarelli. The Coronation of the Madonna, over the 
third altar on the left, is by Girolamo del Pacchia. The 
Crucifixion on the entrance wall is ascribed to Sano di 
Pietro. There is a Coronation by Beccafumi in the 
sacristy, and in the cloisters a frescoed Crucifixion painted 
by Fra Bartolommeo's pupil, Fra Paolino da Pistoia. 

The church of San Giorgio in the Via Ricasoli is, in 
its present form, a work of the eighteenth century. But 
it occupies the site of a most ancient church, which was 
rebuilt in honour of the Battle of Montaperti ; its curious 
campanile, best seen from below the walls, still dates 
from 1260, and its windows are supposed to represent 
the different companies of the Sienese who took part in 
the battle. Near the house of the liberal theological 
thinkers of the Cinquecento, Lelio and Fausto Sozzini 
(the founders of the Socinians), which was afterwards 
a palace of the Malavolti, the Via di Follonica leads to 
the church of San Giovanni Battista in Pantaneto, which 
possesses a terra-cotta statue of the Baptist, ascribed to 
Giacomo Cozzarelli, and several pictures of scenes from 
his life by Rutilio Manetti. Lower down to the right 
is one of Siena's characteristic mediaeval fountains, the 
Fonte di Follonica, probably constructed in the early 

The Madonna of Provenzano 

years of the thirteenth century. Opposite the Palazzo 
del Governo, is the Studio, the famous and still flourish- 
ing University of Siena. It contains a characteristically 
Sienese sepulchral monument of the later Trecento, re- 
presenting the professor, Niccolo Aringhieri, lecturing 
to his pupils. In the Via Sallustio Bandini is the grace- 
ful brick palace that Francesco di Giorgio built for 
Messer Sallustio, the father of Mario and Francesco, 
and ancestor of the celebrated man of science. On the 
left are the remains of one of the castellacce, or private 
fortresses, of the thirteenth century. 

It is a curious turn of fortune that he of whom "all 
Tuscany sounded " after Montaperti, and of whom 
" they hardly whispered in Siena " after his fall at 
Colle, 1 should have given his name to the most con- 
spicuous modern church in his native city. The 
Madonna of Provenzano was raised to the Blessed 
Virgin as Protectress of Siena at the end of the six- 
teenth century. As an inscription to the left of the 
church bears witness (and there is a most unsavoury 
novella of Pietro Fortini's to the same effect), this part 
of the city was notorious for its evil living, mainly given 
up to houses of ill-fame, especially in the days of 
the Spanish occupation. According to the legend, St 
Catherine had set up a little shrine with an image of the 
Madonna here, which was rediscovered by Brandano, 
who declared that here was the greatest treasure of 
Siena, and that "hither all the most honoured ladies of 
the nation shall one day come." In 1594 the image 
began to work miracles, and the present sanctuary was 
built in consequence. 2 The pictures that it contains are 
naturally by later Sienese masters, such as Francesco 

1 Dante, Purg. xi. 109-111. 

2 See Gigli, La citta diletta di Maria, pp. 29-35. The houses 
of Provenzano Salvani's family were in this part of the city 
hence the name. 

The Story of Siena 

Vanni and Rustichino. In the sacristy there is what 
purports to be a portrait of Brandano. 

The great church of San Francesco was mainly built 
in the second quarter of the fourteenth century, from the 
designs of Agostino di Giovanni and Agnolo di Ventura. 
It was outside the walls and there was a gate of San 
Francesco, under the arch of which we still pass to-day. 
When Pius II. came to Siena, he stayed in the convent 
and the gate had to be kept open at night for the con- 
venience of his numerous visitors l which induced the 
Concistoro to decree that it should henceforth be included 
within the walls. Over the door of the church is a statue 
of St Francis, by Ramo di Paganello of about 1288. 
Ruined by fire in the seventeenth century, abandoned to 
military purposes in the nineteenth and recently restored, 
the building is but the shadow of its former self. Still, 
in spite of the modern stained-glass windows from 
Munich, it remains the most simple and severe, the most 
typical and austerely Franciscan of all the Italian Gothic 
churches of Tuscany. The paintings and sculptures that 
it contains are mere fragments of its original decorations, 
and for the most part transferred from other parts of the 
church and convent. The ruined fresco of the Visita- 
tion, on the right of the entrance, is ascribed by Mr 
Berenson to Taddeo di Bartolo. In the second chapel 
on the right of the choir is the monument of Cristoforo 
Felici (one of the Operai of the Duomo) of 1462, one 
of the best works of ITrbano da Cortona. In the choir 
are marble half-length portraits of Silvio Piccolomini and 
Vittoria Forteguerri, the only remains of the sumptuous 
monument that their son, Pope Pius II., raised to their 
memory in 1458. In the first chapel on the left is a 
frescoed Crucifixion by Pietro Lorenzetti, and in the 

1 See the Deliberation of the Concistoro for July 2nd, 1460, 
pro fiorta S'ancti Francisci, in Lusini, Storia delta Basilica di San 
Francesco t p. 123 (HO/*). 
28 4 

San Bernardino 

third chapel are two scenes from the history of the 
Franciscan order St Francis before the Pope and the 
Martyrdom of Franciscan Missionaries by Ambrogio 
Lorenzetti. Ruined and repainted, these latter appear 
to be the remains of a series of frescoes which Ghiberti 
saw and admired in the cloisters here. The chapel 
opposite was formerly that of the nephews of Pius II., 
the Todeschini Piccolomini and Piccolomini d' Aragona ; 
it was restored and modernised by a noble lady of the 
Saracini a few years ago. The Cardinal Virtues on the 
pavement were originallyexecuted by Lorenzo di Mariano. 
In the cloisters, outside the Seminary chapel, there is a 
Madonna lattante, entitled Sedes Sapientlae, by Giacomo 
Cozzarelli. The chapel itself contains a most beautiful 
Madonna and Child by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, and a large 
fresco, of uncertain authorship, of the sime epoch. The 
Seminary further possesses several good early Sienese 

Under the shadow of San Francesco rises the little 
oratory of his great Sienese follower, San Bernardino. 
On the ground floor is a Madonna and Child with St 
Ansanus and St Bartholomew, a beautiful early work of 
Andrea del Brescianino. On the upper floor, in an 
antechapel, are a Madonna by Sano di Pietro and a 
marble bas-relief, the Madonna with Angels, signed by 
Agostino di Giovanni. The oratory itself is the 
*' Siena's Art-laboratory " of Robert Browning's Pacchi- 
arotto poem. Its walls are covered by a series of frescoes 
by Bazzi, Girolamo del Pacchia and Beccafumi, painted 
between 1518 and 1532, among the finest achievements 
of these three masters, under a richly decorated roof 
of the end of the Quattrocento by Giuliano Turapilli. 
On the left wall are: St Louis of Anjou by Bazzi; 
the Nativity of the Madonna, by Pacchia, showing 
Florentine influence ; the Presentation in the Temple, 
by Bazzi ; the Sposalizio by Beccafumi ; San Bernardino 


The Story of Siena 

by Pacchia. On the altar wall, between the Arch- 
angel and the Virgin of the Annunciation by Pacchia, 
is a grandiose fresco by Beccafumi (painted in 1537, 
nearly twenty years later than his other works here), 
representing the Madonna and Child enthroned with 
Apostles, Franciscans, and Angels. On the right wall 
are : St Antony of Padua, now ascribed to Pacchia ; the 
Visitation by Bazzi ; the Death of the Blessed Virgin, 
with Angels and Apostles clustering round, Christ 
rushing down from Heaven to receive her soul, by 
Beccafumi ; the Assumption and St Francis by Bazzi. 
Between the windows is the Coronation of Mary in 
Heaven by the Blessed Trinity, with the Baptist and 
Adam as assessors, also by Bazzi. 

The little church of San Pietro Ovile contains two good 
early Sienese paintings. On the right is the Annunciation 
with, above, the Crucifixion between St Peter and St 
Paul ; the central scene is a copy, with variations and 
some change of sentiment, from the well-known picture 
by Simone Martini and Lippo Memmi in the Uffizi. 
Opposite to it is a Madonna and Child by Pietro 
Lorenzetti, between San Bernardino and the Baptist by 
Matteo di Giovanni. 

" Before you, magnificent and potent Lords, Lords 
Priors, Governors of the Commune, and Captain of the 
People of Siena," thus begins a petition of February 
25th, 1465 (i.e. 1466) "the least of your children 
and servants, the Officers over the Adornment of your 
City, with due reverence set forth that they are con- 
tinually thinking how to do what may be to the adorning 
of the city, especially on the Strada Romana where pass 
the strangers who give praise to all the city." l This 

1 Nuovi Document^ pp. 222-224- The Ujpclali sopra ? Ornato della 
Citta are proposing to make a fountain on the Poggio de' 




The Terzo di Camollia 

Strada Romana is the present Via Cavour, still the 
busiest in the city. Passing up it towards Camollia, 
from the Croce del Travaglio, we come to the Piazza 
Tolomei, in which the people assembled on the eve of 
Montaperti. The great grey stone Palazzo Tolomei, 
its portals guarded by two lions and surmounted by the 
armorial bearings, the three crescent moons, of that 
great Guelf House, was begun in 1208 ; it is the oldest, 
perhaps the most imposing of all the private palaces in 
Siena. The councils of the State occasionally met here 
in the first days of Guelf preponderance after the battle 
of Colle, and it was here that King Robert of Naples was 
entertained in 1310. In earlier times those eventful 
days that preceded Montaperti the General Council 
met in San Cristofano opposite. The column with the 
Lupa though the present wolf only dates from the 
seventeenth century was originally erected in 1 260, 
after Montaperti, in token of this. The church itself 
was modernised in the eighteenth century. It contains 
some tombs of the Tolomei and a good picture by 
Girolamo del Pacchia, representing the Madonna and 
Child between St Luke and the Blessed Bernardo. It 
was in this church in 1376 that St Catherine effected a 
reconciliation between the Maconi, headed by Stefano 
and his father Corrado, and the Tolomei and Rinaldini. 
Behind it, round and about the Via del Re, there are 
a number of picturesque old houses of that epoch standing 
and several towers that once belonged to the Tolomei. 1 

On the left, next to the Gothic Palazzo Tolomei, is a 
graceful little palace in the style of the fifteenth century, 
decorated above with the Lily of Florence. Further on, 
on the right, is the Palazzo Bichi, rebuilt in 1520 for 
the unfortunate Alessandro. At the corner of the Piazza 

1 The imposing tower at the back of the Palazzo Tolomei, 
at the beginning of the Via dei Termini, is the Torre Miganelli 
or Castelli, in which the public bells were hung. 

T 289 

The Story of Siena 

Salimbeni is the Palazzo Spannocchi, begun in 1473 f r 
Messer Ambrogio Spannocchi, the treasurer of Pius II. 
It is a perfect type of the massive, yet graceful domestic 
architecture of the Florentine Quattrocento. Formerly 
ascribed to Bernardino Rossellino, Signer Lisini has 
recently discovered reason for believing that it (as well 
as the palace in the Via Romana of the Abbot of San 
Galgano) was built under the direction of Giuliano da 
Maiano. 1 

The vast Gothic Palazzo Salimbeni, a compromise 
between a castle and a palace, was mainly constructed in 
the thirteenth, but modernised in the nineteenth century. 
The back of it should be surveyed from the Piazza 
delP Abbadia, where it is frequently mistaken by tourists 
and other casual persons (including one English writer of 
repute!) for a Gothic abbey; the name of the piazza 
really refers to San Donato, which was formerly an 
abbey and the family church of the Salimbeni, as San 
Cristofano was that of their rivals, the Tolomei. The 
great Ghibelline family that played so turbulent a part in 
the early history of Siena gradually died out ; "to-day," 
wrote Bargagli, in the latter part of the Cinquecento, 
" it is utterly extinguished ; besides their arms and their 
palaces, nought else remains of them save the name." 
We may take their palace as the background for two of 
the best and most beautiful love stories of old Siena. In 
one, Anselmo di Messer Salimbene Salimbeni, one of the 
richest young nobles of the city, is secretly enamoured of 
Angelica Montanini, whose brother Carlo is the last of 
a noble but now ruined house, between which and the 
Salimbeni there is a deadly feud. Thrown into prison 
on a trumped-up charge of plotting against the popular 
regime, a price is set upon Carlo's life ; he refuses to pay, 
lest his sister should be reduced to beggary, and is about 
to perish on the scaffold when Anselmo steps in and pays 

1 See the Miscellanea Storica Senese, Hi. 4, p. 59. 

The Terzo di Camollia 

the fine to excess. The expedient by which Carlo and 
Angelica attempt to repay their debt to Anselmo is 
somewhat repugnant to our modern code of ethics or 
conventions it appears again in the underplot of Thomas 
Hey wood's A Woman Killed with Kindness but it 
ends in the marriage of Anselmo and Angelica in San 
Donato to the great delight of all the city. In the 
other story, Ippolito Saracini has fallen passionately in 
love with Cangenova, the youngest of the three orphan 
daughters of Messer Reame Salimbeni, and his love is 
returned. But the mother, anxious first to marry her 
other daughters, will not suffer his addresses, and keeps 
Cangenova in strict seclusion. Pretending to leave Siena 
as a pilgrim to St James of Compostella, Ippolito lurks in 
a little house near San Lorenzo, which is next door to 
the garden in which the lady and her daughters walk. 
He watches Cangenova at sunrise, watering her lilies and 
violets in the balcony or playing with the little gold- 
finch that has its nest in the mulberry tree outside her 
window. Then one night he takes advantage of her 
mother's absence to climb the tree, and draws her to the 
window by frightening her goldfinch. A sudden fright 
brings their meeting to a premature end, and presently 
she is dying. Disguised as a pilgrim, Ippolito visits her 
on her death-bed, and they interchange professions of 
unalterable love; he joins her funeral procession as a 
member of one of the confraternities, carrying a torch, 
and falls dead in San Francesco when the tomb is 
closed. 1 

In the Via delle Belle Arti, next to the picture gallery 
which has already been described, is the Biblioteca 
Comunale, once the meeting-place of the most famous 

1 The story of Anselmo and Angelica is inserted in the 
Annal't Senesi under 1395, and is told by Sermini and Illicino. 
That of Ippolito and Cangenova (which from the mention of 
Messer Reame should, if historical, be referred to the same 
epoch) is related by Olinda in Bargagli's Trattemmcnti. 

2 9 I 

The Story of Siena 

of the Sienese academies the Intronati. Among its 
treasures are two of the original letters sent by St 
Catherine from Rome to Stefano Maconi ; they are not, 
however, in her own handwriting but appear, from 
internal evidence, to have been dictated by her to Bar- 
duccio Canigiani. 

Further on in the Via Cavour, to the left, is the 
exquisite little early Renaissance church of Sta. Maria 
delle Nevi, built shortly after 1470 for Giovanni de' 
Cinughi, Bishop of Pienza, probably from the designs of 
Francesco di Giorgio. The altar-piece, representing 
Our Lady as Queen of the Snows, with a predella 
illustrating the legend of the building of Sta. Maria 
Maggiore at Rome, was painted by Matteo di Giovanni 
in 1477 ; a most poetically conceived work and one of 
the most beautiful pictures of the Sienese Quattrocento. 
This part of the Terzo di Camollia was originally the 
famous Poggio Malavolti, where that great family had 
their towers and houses in a regular fortress as far as the 
recently demolished convent of the Cappuccine ; it was 
surrounded with walls and had a gate near where Sta. 
Maria delle Nevi now stands. 

On the right the steep and picturesque Via Vallerozzi 
leads down the Costa d'Ovile, the scene of the massacre 
of 1371, to the Porta Ovile. Half way down is the 
oratory of San Rocco, the church of the Contrada of the 
Lupa, with frescoes by Manetti and Rustichino. The 
Fonte Nuova, a little off the street to the left, was built 
by Tino di Camaino in the fourteenth century. In the 
Via Garibaldi, on the way to the railway station, is the 
Casa della Consuma, the palace in which the brigata 
spendereccia^ the extravagant young club of Sienese nobles 
recorded by Dante in canto xxix. of the Inferno^ ran 
through their fortunes. There has been much throwing 
about of brains upon the question whether this notorious 
Irlgata spendereccia is, or is not, to be identified with the 

The Terzo di Camollia 

brigata nobile e cortese of which Folgore da San Gimig- 
nano sung, and whether Dante's " Niccolo who first 
discovered the rich usage of the clove" who is usually 
said to have been either a Salimbeni or a Buonsignori 
is the Niccolo di Nisi to whom Folgore dedicated his 
corona. However that may be, the present aspect of the 
Casa della Consuma is prosaic and modern. In the same 
street is the oratory of the Brotherhood of St Sebastian, 
for which Bazzi painted that most wonderful of banners 
now in the Uffizi. It has early seventeenth century 
frescoes, illustrating the life of the martyr. 

Following up the Via Camollia towards the gate, we 
have on the right the Campansi, a former convent of 
Franciscan nuns, now a poor-house. Most of its artistic 
treasures have been removed to the picture gallery, but a 
certain number of frescoes have been preserved. In the 
cloisters is a large Assumption, mingling Sienese and 
Umbrian influences, the work of Matteo Balducci and 
(according to Mr Berenson) in part of Pietro di 
Domenico. On the first floor are : an Annunciation by 
Sano di Pietro ; a Madonna and Child with St Anne, 
attended by the Magdalene and St Ursula (poetical in 
conception, but rather poorly executed) by Beccafumi ; 
a Resurrection by Benvenuto di Giovanni. From a 
window in the women's department a beautiful view is 
obtained of San Francesco. 

The Madonna of Fontegiusta was built in 1479, as 
a thanks-offering for the victory of Poggio Imperiale, by 
Francesco Fedeli and Giacomo di Giovanni of Como. 
Over the outer portal is a beautiful Madonna and Child 
with Angels, of 1489, by Neroccio Landi. In the 
sixteenth century the fashionable thing was to hear 
vespers in this church on Sunday afternoons. In Pietro 
Fortini's Novelle de Novizi, his five "right honest 
but most facetious ladies " attend vespers here, and at 
the holy water basin (the work still of Pacchia's father, 


7 'he Story of Siena 

Giovanni delle Bombarde) they join company with their 
" two winsome youths, most disposed to the service of 
love," and walk out with them in the cool as far as the 
Palazzo de* Diavoli. 1 The marble high altar, with the 
Pieta and exquisitely worked setting, is the masterpiece of 
Lorenzo di Mariano, executed in 1517 and, according to 
the legend, sent to Rome on mules for the edification 
of Leo X. The frescoed Assumption, in the lunette 
above the altar, is by Girolamo di Benvenuto. On the 
right wall is a Coronation of the Madonna by Fungai. 
On the left wall is the fresco of the Sibyl revealing 
the mystery of the Incarnation to Augustus, by Baldassare 
Peruzzi. It has been damaged and badly restored, 
and is one of the painter's latest and less satisfactory 
works, showing a mannered and unsuccessful attempt 
to imitate the style of Michelangelo. The Madonna 
commending Siena to her Divine Son is by Bazzi's pupil 
and son-in-law, II Riccio. The shield and whalebones 
over the door are said by tradition to have been sent here 
as a votive offering by Christopher Columbus. 

The Porta Camellia bears the famous and character- 
istic Sienese greeting to all that enter : Cor magis tibi 
Sena pandit, " Siena opens to thee her heart more than 
her gate." When Pius II., on January 3ist, 1460, 
returned to Siena from the fruitless congress at Mantua, 
he passed through this gate and found all the streets as 
far as the Duomo gorgeously decorated. Inside the gate 
there was a structure to look like a Paradise with a choir 
of boys dressed as angels ; when the Pope drew near, 
one of them descended from his place and sung so sweetly, 
commending the city to him, that Pius burst into tears. 
When Charles VIII. of France entered here in May 

1 The sole value and that is not much of Fortini's work 
lies in such little transcripts from Sienese life in theCinquecento. 
The rest is sheer pornography, and the man's life was as vile 
as his novels are filthy. 

The Terzo di Camollia 

1495, accompanied by the Signoria who had met him at 
the Antiporto, he had a similar reception, a boy dressed to 
represent the Madonna as Queen of the city singing a 
Latin welcome to the sound of music. The present 
gate was built in 1604, in honour of the Grand Duke 
Ferdinand I., from the design of Alessandro Casolani. 

Outside the gate is the Piazza d'Armi or Prato di 
Camollia, where the Spanish soldiers mustered in 1552 
on the surrender of the citadel. Here is the column 
that marks the place where Enea Silvio Piccolomini 
introduced the Emperor to his bride, Leonora of Portugal. 
The Antiporto or Portone was many times destroyed 
and rebuilt, the present structure dating from the seven- 
teenth century. A short way further on, on the road 
towards Florence, is the Palatium Turcorum, the palace 
of the Turchi (a family of the Noveschi who were 
connected with the Piccolomini), a red brick structure 
with a fine tower. It has been popularly called, from 
the fifteenth century downwards, the Palazzo de' Diavoli. 
The chapel is a fine piece of Renaissance architecture by 
Antonio Federighi, with a frieze somewhat recalling that 
of the chapel of the Campo ; in the interior are tasteful 
terra-cotta mouldings and an Assumption with a multitude 
of Angels, St Jerome and St Thomas like a Sienese 
picture of the Quattrocento in terra-cotta also by 
Federighi. It was little beyond this palace that the 
Sienese pursued the routed Florentines and papafini in 
1526 but they fled for ten miles without stopping. 

We retrace our steps through the Porta Camollia to 
the Lizza, that favourite promenade of the Sienese which 
now covers the site of Don Diego's citadel, where the 
nightingales are loud at evening among the trees at the 
entrance to Santa Barbara, the Medicean fortress of 
Duke Cosimo thrown open to the citizens by an Austrian 
Grand Duke. The church of San Stefano, on the Lizza, 
contains over the high altar the masterpiece of St 


The Story of Siena 

Catherine's painter disciple, the reformer Andrea di Vanni, 
painted about 1400. It is a typical Sienese picture, but 
of no surpassing merit ; the Madonna and Child are 
enthroned in the central panel, with the Annunciation 
above ; at the sides are the Baptist and St Bartholomew, 
St Stephen and St James, with the four Evangelists 
above them and other saints in the cusp'idi and pinnacles. 
The faces of the virgin martyrs have something of the 
characteristic Sienese gentle sweetness. The predella is 
obviously later, being probably the work of Giovanni di 

At the oldtr circuit of the ivalls 

<N -8* d ^s; 

z E S 5 2 ^ 2 o * 

fc " MI H c ' cn M 

ol" 6 

<; rt 3 ZQ'C 

(JMO ^4 c*3 (d 


s ! II- 

'1 la 1 1 

vi ^-^5 d>S < 


-fllj |i-f 




6 S d > 

8 Q * 


O rt"" S 


> ^ <"^ 



3 3 

<|., 28^ 



y c' H 



. S . o ~ ril^l' 

5 5 ._- 



_H1 _8l-s islli 

^^^ S *"* 

P* s 1 

S ^ 




H o s 2^3 . 

1"^ si? 

> E fa< 


^^ O d^ o -4- 


S s 

c '***' c 


O gj-c^ 
CL > ^ 

o 2 






2.2 .^ 


Q ~ S 


IE < a 

w E 






" g r^ -"I* - 


( 1 


5 J5 Jo ^^ " 

g"y t*. U 



-ll-sS ^e^ 

S'-H&J ^ 

^ u O " 



u = & 

BJ o-^'g 

d U 





fa o H 

S <&._; j <5 

*7 O * * il 

3 cTj " in 

S> ri " 

t^WC/3 W) -0 

5 1 ^ S r^ 


*1 " ^ f* -2 ^ w 


_llif^i gfi o|]t| a 


Some Famous Convents and 

BEYOND the Porta Ovile, on the hill known as the 
Capriola, rises the convent of the Osservanza, one 
of the chief houses of the Osservanti San Bernardino's 
followers of the strict observance of the rule of St Francis, 
who have recently been united with the Riformati and 
others of their spiritual kindred to form one body, under 
what Mr Montgomery Carmichael, our chief lay authority 
on matters Franciscan, appropriately calls "the glorious 
and primitive style and title of the Friars Minor." From 
the earliest Middle Ages, there stood upon this spot a 
little chapel dedicated to the hermit St Onuphrius. 
Bernardino passed this way in June 1406, and found 
that a crowd of people had come out from the city, 
to celebrate the hermit's feast. Before the young 
Franciscan's eyes lay stretched that noble panorama of 
Siena that we see from the convent to-day. Suddenly 
fired, he climbed up into a tree and addressed them 
in words so inflamed with divine love that, while many 
wept, there were some that deemed him mad. A few 
years later the Spedale of Sta. Maria della Scala, to 
which the place belonged, made it over to him, and 
he founded the present convent upon the site of the 

The present convent and church were rebuilt by 



Pandolfo Petrucci, but were considerably altered and 
enlarged in the latter part of the seventeenth century. 
The church is said to have been designed by Giacomo 
CozzareUi, shortly before that master reared for Pandolfo 

fountain outside Porta Ovile 

his own sumptuous palace near the Duomo, and to have 
been actually built by four friars of the Order Filippo 
and Leone of Florence, Leonardo da Potenza, and 
Leone da San Gimignano. 1 It is full of terra-cotta 
work and early Sicnese pictures. In the first chapel 
on the left is a perfect little gem by Sano di Pietro ; 
the Madonna and Child enthroned, with Angels clad 
1 Cj. Alessio, op. cit. pp. 103, 104. 


The Story of Siena 

in the green and red of hope and love, winged with 
the white of faith. In the next chapel is the Corona- 
tion of the Madonna, perhaps the most divinely beautiful 
of all the works of Andrea della Robbia, with the 
Annunciation, Nativity and Assumption in the predella ; 
the motive of St Francis, with his hand upon the head of 
the kneeling St Clare, is especially happy. This is surely 
the kind of sculpture in which Dante saw the examples ot 
humility on the wall of the first terrace of Purgatory. 
The altar-piece of the third chapel is also by Sano di 
Pietro, representing the Madonna and Child between 
Bernardino and St Jerome ; while in the fourth is a 
picture of Saints by Taddeo di Bartolo, with a predella 
by Sano. In the chapels opposite are a Madonna and 
Child, with St Ambrose and St Jerome, the Annunciation 
above, a meritorious work by Stefano di Giovanni, and 
the Crucifixion, the masterpiece of Bazzi's son-in-law, 
II Riccio, but badly restored. The terra-cottas on the 
vaults are ascribed to Francesco di Giorgio. In the 
choir are statues of Mary and Gabriel of the Annuncia- 
tion, of the school of the Delia Robbia ; and a con- 
temporary portrait of San Bernardino, said to have been 
painted in 1439 by Pietro di Giovanni Pucci. Certain 
of his relics are preserved beneath the high altar in a 
silver reliquary of 1472, the work of Francesco di 

Pandolfo Petrucci is buried in the sacristy, which 
contains a Pieta questionably ascribed to Giacomo 
Cozzarelli. Among the numerous sepulchres in the 
crypt is that of Celia Petrucci, a fashionable beauty 
of the sixteenth century. Under the church is a little 
chapel formed of the original cell of San Bernardino 
transported bodily from the older convent with the 
same wooden door wherewith he shut himself out, for 
brief intervals, from the turbulent world for which he 
laboured. Thus are the memories and relics of Siena's 

Sa nf Eugenio 

great apostle of peace curiously linked with those of her 
first tyrant. 

Somewhat more than a mile beyond the Porta San 
Marco is the Abbey of Sant' Eugenio, usually known 
simply as // Monastero. This is the castle-like build- 
ing that is so conspicuous in the foreground to the south, 
in the view from the ramparts of Santa Barbara. It is 
reached from the gate through pleasant lanes, lined with 
vineyards and olive plantations, that in spring and summer 
swarm with that noblest of European butterflies, the 
tiger-striped Papilio Podalirius. It was originally a 
monastery of the Benedictines of Monte Cassino and 
was founded in the eighth century ; Piero Strozzi 
fortified it in 1554, but it was soon occupied by the 
imperial forces. At present it is the property of a 
Sienese family, the Griccioli, and has been completely 
modernised. From one of the former cloisters there is 
a fine view of the mountains to the south. The best of 
the pictures have gone from the church, and those that 
remain have been repainted. There is a much damaged 
Bearing of the Cross, belonging to the series of frescoes 
that Bazzi painted for the Compagnia di Santa Croce. 
Two frescoes by Benvenuto di Giovanni the Resurrec- 
tion and the Crucifixion are among that painter's better 
works. In the chapel to the right of the choir is a 
Madonna and Child with two Angels by Francesco di 
Giorgio, and, in the chapel to the left, a Madonna and 
Child, an authentic work by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. 
The famous Assumption of the Madonna somewhat 
too enthusiastically praised in England by Matteo di 
Giovanni, which once adorned the high altar, is now 
in the National Gallery of London, and a Madonna by 
Duccio, which was formerly in the sacristy, appears 
recently to have followed it beyond the Alps unless it 
has made a longer voyage and, like other Italian pictures, 
crossed the Atlantic. 


The Story of Siena 

" Superficially," writes John Addington Symonds, 
" much of the present charm of Siena consists in the 
soft opening valleys, the glimpses of long blue hills and 
fertile country-side, framed by irregular brown houses 
stretching along the slopes on which the town is built, 
and losing themselves abruptly in olive fields and 
orchards. This element of beauty, which brings the 
city into immediate relation with the country, is indeed 
not peculiar to Siena. We find it in Perugia, in Assisi, 
in Montepulciano, in nearly all the hill towns of Umbria 
and Tuscany. But their landscape is often tragic and 
austere, while this is always suave. City and country 
blend here in delightful amity. Neither yields that 
sense of aloofness which stirs melancholy." 1 

We leave Siena by the Porta Fontebranda, along the 
way by which the returning Noveschi crept up to the 
city walls on that fateful night between July 2 1st and 
22nd, 1487, turning back at intervals for the varied 
glimpses of San Domenico with its huge red bulk and 
tower, or the gleaming marbles of the Duomo. At the 
antimony works, where the road divides, we take the 
way to the right, westwards. Presently we mount up 
again, through lanes on either side that might almost be 
English only, when these break away, the silvery 
olives, the convents on the hills, Siena's towers and the 
distant mountains remind us that we are in Tuscany. 
" The most charming district in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood of Siena," to quote Symonds once more, 
"lies westward, near Belcaro, a villa high up on a hill. 
It is a region of deep lanes and golden-green oak woods, 
with cypresses and stone-pines, and little streams in all 
directions flowing over the brown sandstone. The 
country is like some parts of rural England Devonshire 
or Sussex. Not only is the sandstone here, as there, 
broken into deep gullies ; but the vegetation is much the 

1 Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, iii. p. 68. 


same. Tufted spleen wort, primroses, and broom tangle 
the hedges under boughs of hornbeam and sweet-chest- 
nut." The view of Siena behind us gradually expands, 
as we mount up. When the little chapel is passed, we 
keep to the right ; presently an avenue of oaks and 
ilex-trees leads to the villa, or castello, of Belcaro. 

Belcaro, superbly situated and thickly clothed round 
with a magnificent grove of rich, dark-green ilex-trees, 
was a strongly fortified place in the early days of the 
Republic, and in the fourteenth century it belonged to the 
Savini. At the beginning of T 377 it was much decayed, 
and Nanni di Ser Vanni Savini gave it to St Catherine, 
with the consent of the government, to be made into a 
convent of " religious women who shall continually pray 
for the city and inhabitants of Siena." She called it 
Santa Maria degli Angeli, and several of her letters are 
addressed from it. Later on, the convent became a 
fortress once more, and at one time belonged to the 
Bellanti; in 1525 it came into the hands of the Tura- 
mini, a rich family of bankers. Crescenzio Turamini 
had the present palace, loggia and chapel built from the 
designs of Baldassare Peruzzi, and employed the master 
himself to decorate them with frescoes. On the ceiling 
of a hall on the ground floor is the Judgment of Paris, 
which has caught not a little of the Raphaelesque grace 
and charm of the decorations of the Farnesina. It 
has been repainted. A loggia is likewise covered with 
decorative work, mythological scenes and arabesques, 
which have been so modernised by restoration that 
nothing really remains of Peruzzi's original work save 
the invention and design. In the chapel there are a 
Madonna and Saints behind the altar from his hand, with 
Evangelists and Saints on the walls, and the arms of the 
Turamini above. These are practically Peruzzi's last 
works, and were finished at the beginning of 1535, but 
have all been more or less ruined by the restorers. In a 


The Story of Siena 

room in the villa there is a Madonna and Child with St 
Catherine and San Bernardino a lovely little picture by 
Matteo di Giovanni. 

There is a typical inclosed Italian garden of romance, 
with its lemon-trees and pomegranates ; but the chief 
charm of Belcaro is its noble view. Upon all sides, 
as we wander along its terraces and parapets, the moun- 
tains and the valleys of the Sienese dominion lie out- 
stretched before us, Siena herself I 1 amoroso, madre di 
dolcezza away to the east, the grove of ilex-trees at our 
feet. A trophy of canon balls records the great siege of 
the city. At the beginning of the war, Belcaro was held 
by the forces of the Republic. On April 4th, 1554, it 
was attacked by the imperialists in force, 2000 infantry 
and 50 horsemen, with two pieces of artillery. A 
mere handful of French soldiers, eight in number, 
under a Beaufort, held out till noon, when their officer 
was killed and the rest surrendered. Afterwards, the 
Marchese di Marignano had his headquarters here. 
Beneath Peruzzi's fresco or among the trees of the garden, 
he may have drunk wine with his captains while the 
hapless victims, the " useless mouths," lay perishing 
between the walls of the city and the trenches of his 
soldiery. Here, in April 1555, he received the two 
Sienese ambassadors, Girolamo Malavolti and Alessan- 
dro Guglielmi, who came to make the necessary arrange- 
ments for the surrender of the city, after the terms of 
the capitulation had been decided in Florence. 

Instead of turning up at the chapel to go to Belcaro, 
we turn down to the right and then again down through 
the flowery lanes to the left, where huge white or grey 
oxen drawing wains block the way at intervals, and a 
dark-eyed boy, leading two beautiful white goats, greets 
us in his pleasant musical Tuscan. Suddenly the land- 
scape changes. The lanes end and woods appear we 
are approaching the great Se/va del Comune. Above 


the forest ground, over the scantier trees to the left, 
rises, solitary and austere, the convent of the Augustinian 
hermits, San Salvatore di Lecceto: "a blessed place," 
writes Ambrogio Landucci, " in which the Most High 
chose to work so many wonders." According to tradi- 
tion, the disciples of St Ansanus fled to these woods 
when the Roman persecutors discovered their hiding- 
places in the city ; St Augustine found hermits here in 
the fourth century, and gave them a rule of life. St 
Monica and St Jerome are said to have visited the place, 
and William of Aquitaine (this, at least, seems a histori- 
cal fact), whom Dante afterwards saw among the war- 
riors of the Cross in the rosy sphere of Mars. " Our 
ancient hermitage," says Landucci, " was ever a sweet 
attraction for sanctity." Francis, the Seraphic Father 
of Assisi, came here too, and plucked from one of its 
ilexes the stick which he afterwards stuck into the 
ground at Capraia, and which grew up into a goodly 
tree. The place was originally known as the Convento 
dt Sefoa, the Convent of the Wood, which was also 
called the Selva di Lago, because of the lake or swamp 
(afterwards drained) that lay at the foot of the hill. 
The name Lecceto is derived from the abundant ilex- 
trees which, though much reduced in numbers, are still 
one of the glories of the district. The golden age of 
the convent begins after 1256, when Pope Alexander 
IV. united all the Augustinian hermits into one order, 
and Lecceto became the head house of Tuscany. It 
produced an enormous number of beati, of whom Fra 
Filippo Agazzari, the pious novelist, and William Flete, 
St Catherine's correspondent, an Englishman who had 
settled here, are the only ones whose fame has penetrated 
beyond the boundaries of Tuscany. 

Wonderful legends linger round the convent and the 
forest, told with much vividness and simplicity by Fra 
Filippo, with much unction by Landucci. Angels are 
u 305 

The Story of Siena 

said to have descended in human form, to eat with the 
hermits in their refectory or to succour them in their 
needs; the flowers of this forest, when sent to other 
places, healed the sick and worked miracles, " all evident 
signs that here flourished a continual spring of Paradise." 
The Dominican Ambrogio Sansedoni, then a young 
knight, coming from Siena up through the wood to the 
convent (the very way in which we are treading now), 
was assailed by the fiend in the guise of a beautiful girl 
whom two ruffians had bound to a tree. The pious 
historian assures us that the knots had been tied by the 
Gordius of Hell to entangle Ambrogio's soul, but that, 
while he laboured to untie them, he discovered the snare 
and repulsed the foe by the sign of the Cross. 1 

Very sweet and pleasant are the pictures that Fra 
Filippo gives us of the priors of Lecceto in his day ; for 
" the friars who had to choose them, always put in that 
convent for prior the best friar and the one of most holy 
life that there was in the province." He tells us of 
Frate Bandino de* Balzetti, who was so strict in the 
rules that when he saw a thief taking away the convent 
donkey at the time of silence, rather than break the 
silence or cause the friars to break it, he let him lead 
it off, while he himself went into the church to pray for 
the redemption of that thief's soul. Of course the thief 
was miraculously moved to repentance, and the prior 
sent him away in peace with a plenteous alms. 2 He tells 
in full the life of Frate Niccolo Tini, a friar of the 
convent of Sant' Agostino in Siena, young in years but 
old in wisdom and sanctity, who was made Prior of 
Lecceto in 1332 and ruled it until his death in 1388. It 
was under him that Filippo himself entered as a novice 
in 1353? and he records with enthusiastic love and 

1 Landucci, Sacra Leccctana Sclva, pp. 76-79. 

2 Assempro xl. It was this Frate Bandino who founded the 
convent of Sant' Agostino in Siena. 



admiration the man's boundless humility and meekness, 
patience and charity. Suffering agonies from two horrible 
complaints, the Prior was always bright and kind, though 
his face would show sometimes the agony he endured. 
He loved to tend the sick with his own hands, to dis- 
tribute all that the convent had of bread and wine to the 
poor himself going to the gate to do it, because he 
knew that they would not fare so well at the hands of 
the other brethren. "His joyous face seemed that of 
Moses, so burned his heart with love and charity, and 
with such gladness did he receive strangers, especially 
the servants of God." Many times during his priorate 
the friars had to fly from the place, when the wandering 
companies of mercenaries were ravaging the contado. 
" One morning," says Fra Filippo, " I arrived there 
with a companion at the dinner hour, in the days when 
a company was expected, and already all the place was 
cleared, and we found the Prior alone, for the other 
friars had fled with the goods from the place. And as 
soon as he saw us, that blessed Prior received us with so 
much love and charity and with such gladness, that it was 
a wondrous thing. And in all the place there remained 
nothing to eat, save only two rolls which he had kept 
for himself, very small, and some wine and some leeks. 
And with a holy charity he constrained us to eat with 
him, and he set those two rolls on a table without a 
cloth, and the wine and the leeks. God knoweth that I 
do not lie, but I never found myself at feasts nor at 
weddings nor at any banquet, where I seemed to myself 
to fare so well and so abundantly or where the food did 
me so much good ; and the like befell my companion. 
For the sweetness of the words of God that were on his 
lips was meat above all the meats of the world." 

Once whilst Frate Niccolo was prior it must have 
been a few years after Filippo entered the convent 
Lecceto was threatened by the Sienese themselves 


The Story of Siena 

Shortly after the fall of the Nine in 1355, when Massa 
and Casole and other places were in arms n gainst the 
new regime of the Twelve, a son of Messer Ranieri da 
Casole was seen to come into the wood with certain foot 
soldiers. The rumour spread that the Prior of Lecceto 
was sheltering outlaws, who came to do evil to the city 
of Siena. More than four hundred armed contadim 
threatened the convent, captured three of the men in the 
wood and sent them to the Podesta, while in Siena there 
uprose an uproar in the Campo, and the people shouted 
to go to Lecceto and burn the place down. The friars 
of Sant' Agostino sent a warning to the Prior, that the 
people were already on their way to waste the place. 
While the armed crowd of peasants broke into the 
convent and rang the bells a marteHo, the Prior shut 
himself into the chapel and prayed earnestly before the 
image of the Saviour. At once a sudden rain fell ; the 
three prisoners, whom the mob had been going to hang, 
were led back to the Podesta and proved innocent ; the 
armed forces of the people turned back, the contadini 
went quietly home, " so that in a short while all the 
Place was cleared of folk, and that blessed Prior 
remained in peace with his friars." l 

Perhaps, St Catherine preferred saints of a more 
robust temper. It is somewhat curious that she appears 
to have had no intercourse with Frate Niccolo, though 
we have several letters of hers addressed to other friars 
of Lecceto, especially Antonio da Nizza and William 
Flete. They were among the men of holy life whom 
Pope Urban summoned to Rome, to assist in the re- 
formation of the Church, and neither wished to leave 
their beloved solitude. " I shall see," she wrote to 
them, " if we really have conceived love for the Re- 
formation of holy Church. For if it is really so, you 
will follow the will of God and of His Vicar, you will 

1 Assempro xli. is the life of Niccolo Tini. 


leave the wood and come to enter upon the field of 
battle. But if you do not do it, you will be disregard- 
ing the will of God. And, therefore, I pray you, by 
the love of Christ crucified, that you come soon, without 
delay, at the demand that the Holy Father makes of 
you. And do not fear that you will not have a wood ; 
for here there are woods and forests." 1 

We pass up through the oaks and ilex-trees the 
latter, scanty in parts and freshly planted round the 
convent buildings, are grand and dense enough further 
on to make a real forest still until we reach the 
JSremo, with its small church and castle-like square 
tower of the monastery. The present buildings, though 
restored, date from the fourteenth century, and the tower 
was built in 1404, when Filippo himself was Prior. 
The place is silent and deserted now, left in the charge 
of a family of contadini, save for a month or so in the 
year, when the students of the Archbishop's seminary of 
Siena come here for their vi/Ieggiatura. 

Outside the church, in the portico, are frescoes 
painted about 1343 by a certain Paolo di Maestro Neri, 
a follower of Ambrogio Lorenzetti, somewhat recalling 
the style and spirit of those of the master himself in the 
Sala de' Nove, or those by that other unknown pupil of 
his in the Campo Santo of Pisa. The whole portico in 
front of the church is covered with them, mainly in mono- 
chrome ; partly obliterated, they originally formed one ot 
those vast allegories of human life in which the painters of 
the Trecento above all the Sienese delighted. The 
artist here is as severely ascetical and monastic in spirit as 
the unknown master of the " Triumph of Death." On the 
one side is Paradise ; on the other side is Hell. The 
long wall between them sets forth the life of the cloister 
and the life of the world, the one leading to Heaven, the 
other to Hell. In the one, we have peace and war ; 

1 Letter 326, written from Rome, December I5th, 1378. 


The Story of Siena 

love-making and dancing ; feasting and dicing, the loser 
seizing the winner by the throat ; the car of pleasure, 
over which Cupid flies, while youths and ladies are with 
musicians within ; a great boar-hunt ; money-changing ; 
a court of law ; travellers waylaid by robbers. The 
devils are in it all ; they wait by the gaming-table, they 
sit on the horse that draws the car of pleasure, they watch 
the hunting and all man's ordinary business, they pounce 
upon the soul of the murdered, they preside over the 
death-bed of the impenitent. War is raging in earnest ; 
a grim sea-fight is in progress, the devils are blowing on 
the ships and urging them against each other ; there is 
the storming of a castle the demons sound the trumpets 
for the onslaught, and carry off through the air the souls 
of those that fall. But above, behind the city from 
whose gates the pleasure-seeking crowd of worldlings has 
passed out, is Christ with the banner of the Resurrection 
ready to save, if only they will turn to Him. 1 And 
in the other fresco to our left, a number of men of all 
ages and conditions have taken their crosses upon their 
shoulders, to carry them after Christ. We are shown 
the Works of Mercy and the life of the Evangelical 
Counsels. The devil is here too but only to be van- 
quished and put to flight. Then we have the death of 
the just in the corner, to match the death of the im- 
penitent sinner at the end of the other fresco. And 
after that, comes only the Paradise. 

The frescoed Christ over the door of the church is 
probably by the same painter. In the second cloister 
there are a number of frescoes originally painted at the 
beginning of the Quattrocento. They are greatly 
damaged, obliterated in parts, completely restored in 
others ; we get a vague general impression of hermits 

1 Mr Heywood, in his account of these frescoes (The 
Emamplfs nf Fra Fi/iffo, pp. 227, 228), appears to have missed 
this, the essential point of the allegory. 
3 IO 

Lecceto . 

doing works of mercy and seeing visions, of St Augustine 
giving his rule, of holy deaths in convents and hermitages. 
Further on are five better preserved. The first is the 
story of Giovanni di Guccio, told by Fra Filippo. 1 
Giovanni di Guccio, who belonged to a wealthy family 
of the Monte de' Nove, entered Lecceto as a boy, but in 
the noviciate found the coarse food so trying that he 
thought that he would have to leave the Order. In the 
wood he met "an ancient man of right venerable aspect," 
who confirmed him in his vocation. "And suddenly 
He showed him the wounds. of His side and of His hands 
and feet, from which there issued such great splendour 
that that of the Sun is nothing in comparison with it, 
and they all seemed bleeding. Then, straightway, He 
vanished." This Giovanni was prior in 1323 and often 
told this story as an example, as of another person, and 
not until his death did the brethren know that he spoke 
of himself. In the other frescoes, we see an abbot 
preaching in front of the convent, a painted ideal of 
penitential life and pious death, the monks journeying with 
a sainted prior in their midst, and the return of the lost 
sheep to the fold. The whole cloister, with the well 
in the middle, is picturesque. There is little to see in 
the church, where a few frescoed saints seem striving to 
emerge from the whitewash. 

Down among the vines (on the left of the entrance as 
you face the convent) is the famous holy well, the 
"Poggio Santo," now dilapidated. According to the 
legend, piously recorded by Landucci, there was at first 
no water to be had, but one of the hermits, novella Moisc, 
struck the arid soil with a rod, and at once a spring of 
limpid water gushed out, with miraculous powers of 
curing those stricken with fever. One of the original 
hermits is said to have been buried in this field, and our 
pious historian even discovers some hidden mystery of 

* Asscmpro xxiv. 

3 11 

The Story of Siena 

divine things in the colours of the stones that lie 

In a clearing in the wood on the eminence opposite 
the convent is the little chapel, now restored, of San 
Pio. In November 1460, the friars of the chapter and 
convent of San Salvatore, otherwise Lecceto, presented 
a petition to the Signoria of Siena, to the effect that they 
wanted to build an oratory under the name of San Pio 
and could find no place more suited to their purpose than 
the hill opposite the Place of Lecceto, "the which hill 
belongs to the magnificent city of Siena, and is a woody 
and stony place, from which no fruit can be got." They 
therefore beg the Magnificent Signoria to give them 
enough land on the said hill to build their chapel : 
" which thing will be acceptable to our Lord God, and 
also will greatly please the Holiness of our Lord Pope 
Pius the Second, who has many times been to the said 
place. And your petitioners undertake ever to pray to 
God for your Magnificent Signoria, that it may prosper 
and increase in a good and pacific state." The name 
of " the Holiness of our Lord Pope Pius " was at that 
time one with which to conjure, and their petition was 
approved successively by the Concisforo, the Council of 
the People, and the General Council. 1 

At the bridge below Belcaro, we keep to the right 
and then turn off to the left, skirting the wood, to San 
Leonardo al Lago, the remains of a hermitage in the 
forest which was connected with Lecceto. Here 
Agostino Novello, who had been Manfred's minister, 
lived in his austere old age and died. A few picturesque 
ruins of the hermitage remain, with the woods rising up 
behind them, but the rest are farm buildings. The 
church contains, in the choir, a beautiful series of 
frescoes : the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin in the 
Temple, the Annunciation, the Sposalizio ; with, on the 

1 Nuovi Document! } pp. 202, 203. 

San Galgano 

four segments of the vault, four choirs of Angels, singing 
and making music, gazing down on the sacred scenes on 
the walls or assisting at the Mass on the altar below. 
They appear to be works of some later follower of the 
Lorenzetti, but are ascribed to a certain Pietro di 
Lorenzo, a mediocre painter of the early Quattrocento. 
Four small miracles of St Leonard, on the left, almost 
obliterated, are of no artistic importance, but one of them 
gives a most vivid representation of the torture of the 
corda or strappado, with the scribe taking down the 
confession ; in this case, the Saint is upholding the 
victim. In the crypt is the original burial-place of 
Agostino Novello. 

The Abbazia di San Galgano, a long drive from the 
Porta San Marco, was a Cistercian house whose monks 
at one epoch regularly served the Republic as Camarlinghi 
di Biccherna. According to the legend, Galgano 
Guidotti came hither in 1180, and on Monte Siepi, 
above the Merse, struck his sword into the rock. Here 
he died in 1181. A few years later the Bishop of 
Volterra, Ugo dei Saladini, built a round chapel over 
the hermitage and founded a small house of Cistercians. 
This chapel still remains. The great Cistercian 
monastery and abbey-church of San Galgano, in the 
plain of the Merse, were built in the thirteenth century, 
being probably begun in 1220 and 1224 respectively. 
Of the monastery, only a few ruins remain. The abbey- 
church, magnificent still in its ruin, is one of the purest 
and noblest pieces of Gothic architecture in Italy; it is 
a typical building of the Cistercians, whose churches and 
convents, purer in style and earlier in date than those of the 
Friars Minor and Friars Preachers, have caught more of 
the true spirit of northern Gothic than have theirs. 1 

The most famous, and perhaps still the most interest- 

1 For further details, see Antonio Canestrelli's admirable 
monograph, V Abbazia di San Galgano, 


The Story of Siena 

ing, of all the monastic houses in the State of Siena is 
that of Monte Oliveto Maggiore. It can be reached 
either from Asciano, a picturesque little town with a 
number of paintings of the Sienese school in its churches, 
or by driving all the way from Siena by Buonconvento. 
Pedestrians, if they do not intend to spend the night at 
the convent, should take the morning diligence to 
Buonconvento, and walk down to Asciano from Monte 
Oliveto in the afternoon to catch the evening train back 
to Siena. We drive out of the Porta Romana, Siena 
gradually growing more distant behind us, Monte 
Amiata rising nearer and more distinctly in front.' 
About two miles from Buonconvento we cross the 
Arbia, and then again by an old bridge outside the gate. 

The little townlet of Buonconvento itself, where Henry 
VII. died in 1313 and Alfonso of Calabria had his 
headquarters in 1480, is inclosed in well-preserved walls 
of the fourteenth century, with the balzana and lion of 
Siena's Commune and People over the gate. In the one 
street, which is practically all the place, is an old tower 
with armorial bearings of generations of Podestas. The 
church of San Pietro and San Paolo, near the gate, 
deserves a visit for a most beautiful little Madonna and 
Child by Matteo di Giovanni, over the high altar. To 
the left of the altar are pictures by Sano di Pietro (the 
Madonna with St Catherine and San Bernardino) and 
Pacchiarotti (an early work according to Mr Berenson). 
There are also a frescoed Coronation of the Madonna 
ascribed to Sano, on the right wall, an Annunciation 
with the Magdalene and St Antony by Girolamo di 
Benvenuto, on the left, and a Madonna in glory with 
Saints in the manner of Pacchia. 

From Buonconvento we gradually mount upwards, 
partly through oak woods, to Monte Oliveto. Long 
before we reach it, the great red-brick convent becomes 
visible, with the curious little townlet of Chiusure, once 


Monte Olive to Magglore 

a place of some slight importance, high up on the hill 
above it, looking like a part of the bleak mountain side. 
This whole region, the desert of Accona, is wild and 
barren in the extreme, save where the strenuous labour 
of these Olivetan monks has effected some cultivation ; 
the convent itself appears as an oasis in a wilderness of 
cretaceous precipices, or baize. As we mount, it gets 
wilder and more bare in front, while round and behind 
us an ever grander and more spacious outlook opens ; 
Siena is dimly seen in the distance, Monte Amiata rising 
higher and higher to the south, and, more westward, 
that loftily placed last home and refuge of the battered 
Republic, heroic Montalcino with its towers. At last 
we reach the monastery portal, guarded with a machico- 
lated tower like a fortress ; a long avenue of cypresses 
leads down to the church with its massive square tower 
and the convent buildings, built into the ravines. They 
are built of a rich red brick which, as Addington 
Symonds notes, " contrasts not unpleasantly with the 
lustrous green of the cypresses, and the glaucous sheen 
of olives." 

It was, as we have seen, in the very year of the 
Emperor's death in Buonconvento below, 1313, that 
Bernardo fled to this solitude. The son of Messer 
Mino Tolomei (the head of the Ghibelline section of 
that normally Guelf house) and Fulvia Tancredi, he 
was born in 1272, and christened Giovanni. After a 
boyhood of piety and study, he was made doctor by the 
Studio of Siena and knight of the Holy Roman Empire 
by Albert of Hapsburg which latter event was seized 
by the Tolomei as an occasion for displaying all the 
wealth and splendour of their clan. He had a dazzling 
career as leader of the social and intellectual life of the 
city, though the stories told by his ecclesiastical bio- 
graphers, of his becoming practically ruler of the Re- 
public, are obviously nonsense ; such things did not happen 


The Story of Siena 

to noblemen while the Monte de* Nove held sway. 
Then came his conversion. He had been going to 
deliver a philosophical discourse in the Studio, so runs 
the legend, when he was suddenly stricken with blind- 
ness. In the darkness he saw visions, prayed to the 
Blessed Virgin and recovered his sight at her intercession. 
Instead of his promised lecture, he poured out an 
impassioned homily upon the contempt of the world. 1 
He distributed all that he had to the poor, retaining 
only a little land in this desert of Accona, to which he 
now went forth with two noble companions, Patrizio 
Patrizi and Ambrogio Piccolomini. The three began 
by raising with their own hands a little chapel to St 
Scholastica. Giovanni now dressed in the roughest 
hermit attire, and took the name of Bernardo. Men 
began to flock to him, and certain Guelfs, suspecting a 
Ghibelline plot, are said to have attempted to take his 
life by poison. Praying at the spot where now is the 
great portal of the church, Bernardo beheld a silver 
ladder stretching up to Paradise, with Angels leading 
white-robed men upwards to Christ and the Madonna. 
Accused of heresy, Bernardo and Ambrogio were 
summoned to Avignon, where Pope John XXII. 
received them kindly and recommended them to Guido 
Tarlati, the warrior bishop of Arezzo, who (in accord- 
ance with a special communication from the Madonna, 
says the legend) gave them a rule of life, armorial 
bearings and the white habit. 

Thus the O refer was founded and Bernardo began to 
build the church and convent, over which the Archangel 
Michael and the fiends renewed the war that they had 

1 Oraffi (Vita del B. Bernardo Totomei, pp. 44-72) gives what 
is said to be the text of this homily. It may, possibly, be a 
genuine work of the Saint, but as it speaks of " the schism 
arisen in the Sacred Empire, now many years ago, between 
Frederick of Austria and Ludwig of Bavaria," it could not 
have been delivered on this occasion. 

Monte Oliveto Maggiore 

waged in Heaven before the creation of the world. 
After having been frequently sent by the Pope to heal 
the factions of Guelfs and Ghibellines in many towns 
of Italy, at last in 1348, when the terrible Black Death 
was ravaging the peninsula, Bernardo assembled his 
monks, bade them leave the convent, going two and 
two to every town and city to tend the plague-stricken, 
and all to assemble once more in Siena, two days before 
the Feast of the Assumption, in the convent that he 
had founded outside the Porta Tufi. All arrived safely, 
as he had promised them. On the vigil of the Assump- 
tion, he addressed them for the last time. Then, a few 
days later, he died ; the rest took the pestilence, and the 
greater part of them passed away with the people they 
had come to tend. 

At present the Olivetani have been almost everywhere 
suppressed. Here a few monks remain, their superior 
being regarded as merely the custode for the government, 
and there are a certain number of students. The Abbate 
Generate of the Order resides at Settignano. 

The frescoes of the greater cloister were painted in 
the days of the Abbate Generate Fra Domenico 
Airoldi of Lecco. They illustrate the legend of St 
Benedict, as told by Pope Gregory the Great in the 
second book of his Dialogues. They were begun by 
Luca Signorelli in 1497, who painted eight frescoes 
beginning in the middle of the story, and then went 
away to undertake greater work in the Duomo of Orvieto. 
In 1505 and 1506 Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, who had 
known Fra Domenico in Lombardy, took up the tale, 
and, while he told it in line and colour, kept the whole 
convent in an uproar with his japery. " It would be 
impossible to describe/' says Vasari, "the fun that, 
while he worked in that place, those fathers got out of 
him, for they called him the big lunatic (II Mattaccio), 
nor the mad pranks he played there." 


The Story of Siena 

Beginning from the side of the cloister adjoining the 
monastery church, we have first nineteen scenes by Bazzi. 
We see Benedict as a youth leaving his father's house at 
Norcia to go to study humanities at Rome, his faithful 
nurse (who plays the same part in the original legend) 
riding with him on a donkey ; and then, his leaving the 
Roman schools, " instructed with learned ignorance and 
furnished with unlearned wisdom " as Pope Gregory has 
it, because scandalised at the dissolute lives of his fellow- 
students. These two frescoes show that Bazzi had been 
impressed by Pinturicchio's work at Siena ; they recall 
Enea Silvio setting out from Genoa and the Congress of 
Mantua. In the third, Benedict mends the borrowed 
sieve that his nurse had broken, and the townsmen hang 
it up at their church door, "to the end that not only men 
then living, but also their posterity, might understand 
how greatly God's grace did work with him upon his 
first renouncing of the world." Here we see Bazzi 
himself, a fine piece of self portraiture, surrounded by 
his pet birds and beasts, wearing the knightly robes and 
sword that had been discarded by a gentleman of Milan 
who had just entered the Order, and which the Abbot 
gave him in part payment for his work. Next, Benedict 
meets Romanus on the way to Subiaco. Then, while 
Romanus Jets down a loaf of bread to Benedict in his 
cave, the devil, " envying at the charity of the one and 
the refection of the other," hurls a stone and breaks the 
bell with which Romanus used to signal to his young 
friend ; the painter's pet badger calmly drinks at a pond 
the while. Next, a certain priest, by divine inspiration, 
brings a dinner to Benedict on Easter Day. In the 
seventh fresco, Benedict instructs the shepherds who 
found out his retreat ; " and for corporal meat, which 
they brought him, they carried away spiritual food for 
their souls." Then he rolls among thorns, to overcome 
a temptation of the flesh that the devil put into his mind 

Monte Oliveto Maggiore 

by the representation of "a certain woman which some 
time he had seen." After that, certain monks, by their 
persistence, induce him against his will to become their 
abbot. Finding him too austere, they attempt to poison 
him ; but when he makes the sign of the Cross over the 
cup, it breaks in pieces, and he goes back unharmed to 
his solitude. Bazzi has made the ill-favoured monk, 
who was most insistent in urging Benedict to be abbot, 
the one to offer him the poisoned cup. Then, as many 
flock to him, he builds the twelve monasteries at Subiaco. 
In the twelfth fresco, one of the finest of the series, 
Benedict receives Maurus and Placid us, the young sons 
of the Roman nobles Equitius and Tertullus, who are 
accompanied by a splendid troop of retainers. Next, he 
beats the devil out of a monk who would not say his 
prayers ; he makes a fountain spring forth on the top of 
a mountain ; he makes the iron head of a bill that had 
slipped into the water return to its handle again. Now 
Placidus has fallen into the lake and Maurus, at the 
bidding of the man of God, runs upon the water and 
delivers him, after which " he both marvelled and was 
afraid at that which he had done," but Benedict ascribes 
it entirely to his obedience. This is a particularly 
attractive picture, with the sweet boyish faces of the two 
young monks. After another miracle (of which the 
subject is not quite obvious), on cither side of the door, 
we come to the attempt made by the priest Florentius to 
kill Benedict by a poisoned loaf; the Saint's tamed crow, 
somewhat unwillingly, takes it away where no man can 
find it, to return presently for his own usual allowance. 
In the nineteenth fresco, Florentius tries to corrupt the 
monks by sending a band of young and beautiful women 
to the convent, to inflame their minds by dancing and 
singing. This was a subject far more after Bazzi's own 
heart than were the trivial miracles of monastic legend, 
and in the exquisite group of women, with their 


The Story of Siena 

Leonardesque faces, their subtle suggestion of rhythmic 
movement, he has produced a masterpiece. Vasari tells 
us that the painter originally shocked the worthy Abbot 
by representing this scene in a more realistic fashion (in 
which, we may add, he would only be following St 
Gregory's own version of what happened), and that he 
was afterwards compelled to drape the figures. 

Beyond this last fresco, there stood originally a door 
that led to the great refectory. It was closed be- 
tween i 530 and 1541,! after which Bazzi's son-in-law, 
Bartolommeo Neroni or II Riccio, painted upon the 
new wall the fresco we now see. It represents St 
Benedict sending out Maurus and Placidus as mission- 
aries, the one to France, the other to Sicily. 

The eight frescoes that follow are Luca Signorelli's, 
but they hardly rank among his best works and are, in 
addition, in a bad state of preservation. In the first is 
the punishment of Florentius ; the devils have thrown 
down his chamber upon him and are carrying off his 
soul ; while Benedict, hearing what has happened, 
laments greatly, " both because his enemy died in such 
sort, and also for that one of his monks rejoiced 
thereat." In the second, he converts the inhabitants of 
Monte Cassino from their worship of Apollo. In the 
third, he exorcises the devil who sat upon the stone and 
prevented the monks from raising it, and the idol of 
brass, which they dug up upon the spot and which 
seemed to set the convent on fire. In the fourth, he 
raises to life the young monk upon whom the devil had 
thrown a wall. The fifth is an admirable piece of 
genre-painting, intended to illustrate St Benedict's dis- 
covery by revelation that some of his monks had dis- 
obeyed him and eaten out of the monastery. Two 
monks are eating and drinking in a primitive dining- 
room of the epoch (not an inn, as usually stated, but 

1 Frizzoni, op. cit. p. 115. 


Lotnbardi t Stentt 

Monte Oliveto Maggtore 

what St Gregory calls " the house of a religious 
woman "), waited upon by women fine robust daughters 
of the people; the Saint is just seen, discovering to 
them their fault, on the right in the section of the wall. 
In the sixth scene, we have the story of the devout 
layman, the brother of Valentin ian the monk, who was 
induced by a companion to break his fast on a journey. 
The two remaining frescoes, the last that Signorelli 
painted here, are of a far higher order and more char- 
acteristic of his grand manner. They represent Totila, 
King of the Goths, testing Benedict's supernatural 
wisdom by sending one of his officers to him, disguised 
as himself; and then, when the Saint recognises the 
deceit and rebukes the man, Totila comes in person 
with his army, falls down before him and listens meekly 
to his words. In both, Signorelli gives us a superb 
representation of the fierce mercenary soldiery of his 
own day, and the work is full of his characteristic vigour 
and delight in powerful, strenuous manhood. Here, 
alone in the series, do we begin to recognise the future 
author of those unapproachable masterpieces at Orvieto. 

Bazzi now takes up the tale in the seven remaining 
frescoes. In the first, Benedict foretells the destruction 
of Monte Cassino. The Saint himself is barely seen in a 
corner, the picture representing the event that he foretold. 
Monte Cassino is burning, while in the foreground is the 
Lombard host, superb groups of horsemen in every 
attitude, which recall Leonardo's famous Battle of the 
Standard which, however, it seems probable that Bazzi 
could not then have known. 1 After this, we are back in 
the region of petty miracles. Meal is miraculously 
brought to the monks in time of famine. Benedict 
appears in vision to the abbot and prior, whom he has 
sent to build an abbey near Terracina, and shows them 
how it is to be done. Two nuns, whom he threatened 
1 Cf. Frizzoni, op. eit. p. 117. 

x 321 

The Story of Siena 

with excommunication because they would not bridle 
their tongues, cannot rest after death, but are seen to 
rise from their graves and leave the church at the time 
of the Communion, until he makes an oblation for them 
and (apparently) gives communion in some mystical way 
to their unquiet ghosts. A young monk, "loving his 
parents more than reason would," cannot be buried 
after death, until Benedict bids them lay the Sacred 
Host upon his breast. Another monk, wishing to 
forsake the abbey, finds a terrible dragon in the way. 
A poor countryman, fallen into the hands of the Goth 
Zalla, " an Arian heretic who, in the time of King 
Totila, did with monstrous cruelty persecute religious 
men," is marvellously loosed from his bonds at the 
sight of the man of God and Zalla himself moved to 
repentance. This closes the series of Benedict's life. 
" Certainly," says Peter to Gregory in the Dialogues, 
" they be wonderful things which you report, and such 
as may serve for the edification of many : for mine own 
part, the more that I hear of his miracles, the more do 
I still desire." And we may feel disposed to say the 
same, if we have a Signorelli or a Bazzi to paint them. 

There are a few other frescoes by Bazzi in the con- 
vent. Between the cloister and the church are Christ at 
the Column and Christ bearing the Cross, works of intense 
spiritual expression, and another variously described as 
Benedict giving his rule and Bernardo founding his order 
of Monte Oliveto. On the stairs leading to the dormi- 
tories are the Coronation of the Madonna and a Pieta, 
and, at the rooms of the Abbate Generale, over the 
door, a Madonna and Child with St Michael and St 
Peter. Outside the church a striking Madonna and 
Child in marble, ascribed to Fra Giovanni da Verona, 
watches over the tombs of the brethren. The church 
itself has been modernised. An old picture of the three 
founders is said to mark the place where Bernardo saw 

Monte Oliveto Maggiore 

the Archangel Michael descend from Heaven in flashing 
armour to drive away the devils who were threatening to 
destroy the foundations of the building. It contains ex- 
cellent intarsia by Giovanni da Verona, especially on the 
reading desk and choir stalls, and there is similar work 
by him in the library of the monastery. 

Pope Pius II. came here in 1463, and in his Memoirs 
(those famous Commentarii Rerum Memorabiliurn) we 
are given an account of his visit. 1 He marvelled at 
the situation of the place and the wonderful industry by 
which the monks had reclaimed so much of the desert 
soil, on the very brink of the precipice, and at the ex- 
cellent architecture of the monastery. He found the 
woods and gardens as delightful to linger in, as we do 
to-day, and struck the keynote of the feeling of every 
modern visitor to these monastic houses of the past ; 
" pleasant places of refreshment for the monks, more 
pleasant still for those to whom, after they have seen, it is 
lawful to depart." On the second evening of his stay, 
the Pope supped with the monks in the refectory ; while 
they were at table he bade his choristers come in, who 
sang the new hymn that his Holiness had composed 
in honour of St Catherine of Siena, "with such soft 
harmony that they drew sweet tears from all the monks/' 

1 Commentarii) X. pp. 482-484. 

San Gimignano 

" La nobile piu Citta che Terra di San Gimignano." 

CAN GIMIGNANO of the Beautiful Towers is a 
place of frowning grey and brown walls and towers, 
of mysterious alleys, of shimmering olive-trees and fields 
of flowers that lie beyond, of flaming skies at sunrise, of 
clamorous bells at nightfall. Hardly, indeed, would he 
be pressed who should be called upon to award the crown 
of beauty to any one, rather than another, of the smaller 
towns of central Italy, though San Gimignano would 
perhaps deserve it. '* No other town or castle in Tus- 
cany," wrote Gino Capponi, " retains more of the 
Middle Ages and was less invaded by the ages that fol- 
lowed ; in those towers, and in the churches and in the 
houses of massive stone, is still something that cannot 
be covered up by the thin plastering of modern times ; 
ancient memories keep their possession of it, the new life 
has hardly entered in." 1 High up on the side of one of 
the hills of the Vald'Elsa 

"The hill-side's crown where the wild hill brightens," 

as Mr Swinburne sings of it it watches the fertile 
valley of the Elsa spread below, while to the north, be- 
yond Certaldo (haunted still by the spirit of him who 
wrote the Human Comedy of the Middle Ages), the 

1 Storia della Repubblica di Firenze, i. pp. 389, 390. 

San Gimignano 

Apennines bar the eyes* further progress. Behind it, to 
the west, are hills that command a view of Volterra and 
the distant Mediterranean. The woods that once gave 
the little town its picturesque name " II Castello della 
Selva," the "Castle of the Wood" have almost 
disappeared. In their place it is surrounded with olive 
plantations, which temper with their silvery softness the 
austerity of the towers and the walls : 

' Of the breached walls whereon the wallflowers ran 
Called of Saint Fina, breachless now of man, 

Though time with soft feet break them stone by stone, 
Who breaks down hour by hour his own reign's span." 1 

The people are mediaeval still. You may see them 
throng the churches as in the old days of simple faith, 
or hear them among the vineyards and in the beanfields 
answer each other in the rispetti and strambottl of a more 
primitive Tuscany. The place is miserably poor, in 
marked contrast to the smug prosperity of its neighbours, 
Poggibonsi and Certaldo. Living is exceedingly cheap, 
but there is no trade, and what little work there is, is but 
scantily paid. Yet the people are full of old-world 
dignity and courtesy, and seem cheerful in spite of it all, 
even down to the little beggar bambini who pursue the 
foreign visitor with insatiable demands for foreign stamps 
and soldi, or pester him with unseasonable offers to seive 
as guide. 2 

Like most other small Italian towns, the origin of 
San Gimignano il nobile castello^ or il Jlorido castello 
di San Gimignano is hidden in legendary clouds. 
There is, of course, a tradition of a Roman foundation, 
a castle built by Silvius, a young Roman patrician in- 

1 A. C. Swinburne, Relics. 

2 There are two hotels in San Gimignano, the Albergo 
Centrale and the Leone Bianco. The present writer's experi- 
ence has been confined to the Albergo Centrale, which is 
pleasantly situated and excellent for so small a town. 


The Story of Siena 

volved in Catiline's rebellion, of Attila's hordes of Huns 
hurled back by a sudden apparition of St Geminianus the 
martyred Bishop of Modena (whence the change of 
name from Silvia to San Gimignano), of a great palace 
built by Desiderius King of the Lombards, of privileges 
granted by Charlemagne. All these things are presum- 
ably mere fables. Luigi Pecori, the historian of his 
native town, supposes that in the sixth or seventh century, 
when the devotion to St Geminianus was widely spread, 
a church was built to his honour here, that people 
gradually gathered round it, until by the beginning of the 
eighth century there was a regular town, which was forti- 
fied by a castle; and as it was then surrounded and 
defended by woods, it was called the Castello di San 
Gimignano or the Castello della Selva. Be that as it 
may, the first authentic mention of the place is in a 
document of the early part of the tenth century. 

From the tenth to the twelfth century, San Gimig- 
nano was subject to Volterra and more particularly to 
the Bishop of that city ; but in the course of the twelfth 
century, its people were gradually winning their way to 
virtual independence and self-government, like the other 
communes of Tuscany, and like them beginning to exert 
supremacy and authority over the petty nobles of the 
small castles in the vicinity. By the year 1 200, they had 
practically attained their liberty. At this time they had 
consuls, three or four elected annually, with a special 
council of fifty and a larger general council " which met 
only in cases of peace or war, usually in the Pieve, and 
always at the sound of the bell, as though Religion with 
her solemn voice invited the citizens into her own sanc- 
tuary to provide for the public weal." 1 Hitherto the 
Bishop of Volterra had appointed two rectors, rettori, in 
whom the judiciary power was vested; but in 1199, 
instead of these rectors, we begin to find a Podesta, 

* Pecori , Storia della Terra di San Gimignano, p. 41. 

?sM^k ; *' r% 

^^^-.^'^ f< ^ i 
^V^^^v"" UV-^^- f--. ! 
i'.t? " ^s^Vk i M ^'^ ^S^;' 

San Gimignano 

elected by the Council of the Commune, the first being 
Messer Maghinardo Malavolti of Siena. At first, a 
native of the place was sometimes elected ; but after 1220 
the Podesta was always a foreign noble (usually, but 
not invariably, from Siena or Florence), who judged 
civil and criminal cases, presided over the meetings of 
the General Council and led the forces of the Com- 
mune in war ; he brought with him a judge and a notary 
with a certain number of attendants, berrovleri^ and was 
not allowed to entertain nor to receive hospitality from 
the citizens. All this was more or less the same, on a 
smaller scale, as what took place at this epoch in Florence 
or Siena ; but here in San Gimignano the effect of the 
appointment of a Podesta was not to reduce the 
authority of the consuls, but rather to abolish that of the 
rectors of the Bishop of Volterra, and we find him 
exercising his magistracy side by side with the consuls 
for a longer period here than in the larger communes. 
For the rest, his term of office was originally one year, 
but it was afterwards reduced to six months ; the same 
Podesta, however, was frequently re-elected. 

Hitherto San Gimignano had consisted of the Castello 
Vecchio, surrounded by the old walls and with those 
grim antique gates, of which the remains stand to-day in 
the shape of the two portom^ with a suburb outside. But 
now, at the end of the twelfth and beginning of the 
thirteenth centuries, the new circle of walls was built to 
inclose the Castello Nitovo, as it was called ; this is the 
stconda cinta, the second circuit of walls that still 
surround the place. 

With the thirteenth century begins the series of the 
wars of the Sangimignanesi. In 1202, under their 
Podesta, they sent a force to relieve Semifonte, then 
besieged by the Florentines, but ended by helping to 
subject the castle to their formidable neighbours. They 
amplified their own dominion, destroyed the fortresses of 

3 2 7 

The Story of Siena 

the lords of various little castles in the contado, forcing 
them to enter San Gimignano, and obtained Castelvecchio 
(which no longer exists) in 1210 from the Bishop of 
Volterra. They carried on a long intermittent struggle 
with Volterra, sometimes for the possession of Monte 
Voltraio, sometimes in alliance with the warrior bishop, 
Pagano de' Pannocchieschi, whom his people expelled 
at intervals. Occasionally, Florence or Siena would 
intervene and compel the two small communes to keep 
the peace. San Gimignano even sent men to the 
Crusades, and two of these, Bene Trainelli and a certain 
Gradalone, are said to have won great honour. Within 
the city, there were the usual struggles between the 
magnates and the people, the grandi and the popolani, 
which came to a head in 1233, when the houses of the 
Knights Templars were burned, and a number of 
popolam, chosen from each of the then four contrade, 
with the rectors of the Arts, were appointed to sit with 
the consuls in the councils of the State. There was 
another tumult in 1236, which the Bishop Pagano came 
in person from Volterra to appease, after which the two 
Councils appear to have been reduced to one. In the 
days of Frederick II., San Gimignano was Ghibelline, 
took its Podestas "by the grace of God and of the 
Emperor," and sent horse and foot to serve in the 
imperial army. But the factions raged here, as every- 
where else in Tuscany. In 1246, irritated by an 
unusually heavy tax upon the churches, the Guelfs rose. 
Headed by the sons of Guido Ardinghelli, they assailed 
the houses of the Ghibellines, especially those of the 
sons of Messer Salvuccio. The Podesta was absent at 
Certaldo ; but he gathered troops in the contado, and 
entered the town while the uproar in the streets was at 
its height ; he assailed the Guelfs who, under this com- 
bined attack and the rain of bolts and arrows from the 
towers, were forced to retire. There were numbers 


San Gimignano 

banished on both sides. Thus began the feud between 
the houses of the Ardinghelli and Salvucci, that was to 
bring San Gimignano into servitude. 

Shortly after the middle of the thirteenth century, a 
more democratic form of government was established. 
Instead of the consuls, the supreme authority was vested 
in a magistracy of twelve, elected annually the twelve 
"Captains and Rectors of the People," two captains and 
one rector being elected from each quarter of the town. 
There was the one Council of the Commune, usually 
sixty in number. A special magistracy of eight presided 
over the public expenses (the Otto delh Spese}, and the 
Podesta, of course, had a special council, which in San 
Gimignano consisted of sixteen citizens. 

But in the years in which this reformation was effected, 
immediately after the death of Frederick II., the factions 
grew more furious. In June 1251 the Guelfs rose, 
headed by the Twelve, expelled the Ghibelline Podesta, 
Neri degli Uberti of Florence, and made themselves 
masters of the town. Then in September 1252, the 
Ghibellines rose, headed by Michele Buonfigliuoli. 
The Guelfs made their stand at the houses of the Cini 
and Cici in the quarter of San Matteo, where after a 
desperate battle the Podesta vainly spreading the red 
and yellow banner of the Commune and calling upon the 
combatants to lay down their arms the Ghibellines got 
the upper hand, sacked the houses and massacred their 
opponents. The Guelfs appealed to the Bishop of 
Volterra, Ranieri de j Pannocchieschi, who came to 
San Gimignano and patched up a sort of peace between 
the two factions apparently to the advantage of the 
Guelfs. The Ghibellines rose again in January 1253 ; 
the gates were broken down and a portion of the walls 
destroyed, un-til at last the men of San Miniato inter- 
posed and aaoicted in expelling the leading Ghibellines. 

This is the epoch of the short, flower-like life and 

3 2 9 

The Story of Siena 

flower-attended death of the virgin heroine of San 
Gimignano, Santa Fina. Fina de' Ciardi, born of a 
noble but poor family, at the age of ten contracted a 
horrible disease and, instead of a bed, chose to lie upon 
a plank of hard oak for five years, " offering herself up 
as a perfect holocaust to God." She lost her father 
and mother, had horrible visions of the fiend in the form 
of a serpent. Then according to the legend, eight days 
before her death, St Gregory appeared to her, and told 
her that the end of her miseries was come, for that on 
the day of his feast she would be with him in Paradise. 
She died on March I2th, 1253, being then fifteen years 
old. " Hardly had that blessed soul expired," writes 
the Annalist, " than the Demons in envy and rage filled 
the air with such fearful whirlwinds, that poor morrals 
were struck with horror. Against them the sound of 
the bells of San Gimignano, moved by the invisible hands 
of Angels, bore witness to the sanctity of Fina, and 
straightway caused those storms and infernal whirlwinds 
to cease. At these prodigies, the people flocked to the 
house of the saint, from which every one imagined that 
these effects proceeded. And when they arrived there, 
they smelt a fragrance of Parac^se, and saw all the room 
where the sacred body was, miraculously full of flowers, 
as also the board upon which she lay. And when they 
wished to lift her from it, a part of the mortified flesh 
remained attached to it and straightway turned into 
flowers." x Such are the contrasts offered by mediaeval 

1 Coppi, Annali, memorie, etc., pp. 108-114. I have spared 
my readers some of the details of " cette existence d'expiation." 
Not many of us can look upon these things with the eyes of 
M. J.-K. Huysmans, in his Sainie Ly divine de Schiedam : " Elle fut, 
en somme, un fruit de souffrance," he writes of Lydwine, 
whose life was very like a prolonged version of Fina's, " que 
Dieu ecrasa et pressura jusqu'a ce qu'il en cut exprime le 
dernier sue; 1'ecale vide lorsqu'elle mourut ; Dieu allait 
confier a d'autres de ses filles le terrible fardeau qu'elle avait 


San Gimignano 

life and legend. The towns where the streets are still 
running red with the blood of the citizens, while the 
remains of houses and palaces are still smoking in their 
ruin, are visited by beings of another world, and have 
mystical gates and windows that open out upon the 

San Gimignano was now Guelf for a while, and sent 
a well-equipped little force to swell the Florentine host 
at Montaperti in 1260. After the battle the Ardin- 
ghelli, Pellari, Mangieri and other Guelf families fled to 
Lucca ; the Ghibellines took over the government and 
recalled Neri degli Uberti to serve as Podesta. San 
Gimignano now followed the fortunes of Siena, as in its 
Guelf days it had followed those of Florence. But in 
1269, after the battle of Colle di Val d'Elsa, it became 
Guelf again under the suzerainty of Charles of Anjou, 
expelled the leading Ghibellines, and took a Captain of 
the People in imitation of the Florentines. But the 
neighbouring castle cf Poggibonsi still clung to the 
decaying cause of the Ghibellines, and sheltered the 
fuorusciti. It was now, in 1270, reduced by the French 
soldiery of Montfort, aided by the Florentines and 
Sangimignanesi. The splendid castle, which Giovanni 
Villani calls the strongest and most beautiful in Italy, 
and of which we still see the remains rising above the 
modern town, was razed to the ground, and the in- 
habitants were forced to descend from the hill into the 
plain. King Charles put the work of destruction into 
the hands of the Sangimignanesi and made over a portion 
of the territory of the " rebellious " castle to them, the 
rest to the Florentines. Henceforth San Gimignano 
adhered to the Guelf League of Tuscany, sent armed 
men to take part in its wars, and did a little independent 
fighting with the Bishop of Volterra. The small 

laisse ; elle avail pris, elle-meme, la succession d'autressaintes 
et d'autres saintes allaient, a leur tour, hriter d'elle"(p. 291). 

33 1 

The Story of Siena 

Commune began to have a voice in the counsels of 
Tuscany. In August 1276, the Sienese sent for peace- 
makers from San Gimignano, and the Podesta, Fantone 
de j Rossi of Florence, with two of the citizens went at 
their request, " for the utility of that City and for the 
honour of this Commune." 

This was, indeed, the golden age of San Gimignano, 
from about 1270 to about 1320. According to Pecori, 
the population of the terra and contado together 
amounted to about 16,000 in the fourteenth century. 
The internal government grew more democratic, more 
definitely Guelf. Instead of the twelve captains and 
rectors, it was now ruled by the Otto delle Spese with the 
four Capitani di Parte Gue/fa, and the usual credenza and 
General Council. In 1301 these Eight were increased 
to Nine, the " Nine Governors and Defenders of the 
Town," whose term of office (like that of the Priors 
of Florence and the Nine of Siena) was two months. 
With the Nine was associated a glunta of twenty-four. 
The Podesta was publicly elected in front of the Pieve 
or Collegiata. All the magistrates assembled, and the 
Captains of the Parte Guelfa determined two cities from 
which he should be chosen. Then they drew by lot 
twelve councillors, each of whom nominated two 
knights from each of the two cities. They balloted for 
these, took the names of the eight who had received 
most votes, and wrote them on two tickets, four on 
each, which were inclosed in wax and put into a vessel 
of water. A child drew out one for the first six 
months, leaving the other for the second. Then the four 
names were similarly inclosed in four other wax globules, 
the child drew again, and the first name that came out 
was that of the Podesta for the next six months. The 
names on the second ticket, carefully inclosed in wax, 
were put into the custody of the Friars Minor until, at 
the appointed time, they were brought to the General 

33 2 

San Gimignano 

Council and the same process repeated for the Podesta 
of the second six months. 1 And, indeed, the Podesta 
of San Gimignano had no easy task ; the factions con- 
tinued their aimless and deadly course, the Pellari lead- 
ing the Guelfs and the Salvucci the Ghibellines, until in 
May 1298, the Cardinal Matteo d'Acquasparta came to 
the place and patched up a peace, which was solemnly 
celebrated in the Piazza. 

In the following year, 1299, died San Bartolo, the 
Father Damian of the Middle Ages. He was the son 
of Giovanni Buonpedoni, Count of Mucchio in the San- 
gimignanese contado. At an early age he entered the 
Church, tended the sick at Pisa, served as a simple 
parish priest at Peccioli and Picchena, and at length de- 
voted the last twenty years of his life to the service of 
the lepers in the leper hospital, the Leprosario of Cellole. 
Here he fell a victim to his heroic self-sacrifice, and 
suffered so terribly that he was called the Job of 
Tuscany. By his own last wish, he was buried in Sant' 
Agostino, where, two centuries later, the art of Benedetto 
da Maiano raised the noble monument we now see. 

The day in this epoch that has made most impression 
upon the imagination of posterity, probably created com- 
paratively little excitement at the time. It was only one 
of many similar embassies from the allied cities of the 
Guelf League that came to the gate of San Gimignano 
on that May morning of the year of Jubilee, 1300 ; 2 but 
the young burgher who rode in, with trumpeters and 
others whose coats were emblazoned with the red lily, 
was no other than Dante Alighieri, come as ambassador 
of Florence to announce that a parliament was to be held 

1 Pecori, p. 113. 

2 In May 1899, San Gimignano kept the sixth centenary of 
Dante's embassy, and it was on this occasion that the real 
date 1300 (instead of 1299, as hitherto supposed) was dis- 


The Story of Siena 

for the purpose of electing a captain for the Guelf League 
of Tuscany, and to invite the Commune of San Gimig- 
nano to send representatives. The great new Palace of 
the Commune was then just finished, and the Tower 
barely begun. There was much Guelf fervour in San 
Gimignano in this year, the Podesta ordaining that, to 
avoid disorder and faction, every one should solemnly de- 
clare himself Guelf or Ghibelline, and that the Captains 
of the Party should raise a guard of six hundred men, 
half from the terra and half from the contado, for the 
custody of the town, to appear ready in arms at the sound 
of the bell. As we might have anticipated, when the 
Guelfs split into Blacks and Whites, San Gimignano 
was "black," and in 1305 sent men to the siege of 

A fierce war, on a large scale for two such small 
states, broke out in 1308 between San Gimignano and 
Volterra. There were no serious battles, but much 
harrying of the country and burning on both sides, and it 
was only ended by the intervention of Florence, Siena 
and Lucca. On the advent of Henry of Luxemburg, the 
Sangimignanesi sent men to aid King Robert and the 
Florentines. The Emperor came to Poggibonsi, from 
which he sentenced San Gimignano to pay a fine, and 
its walls and towers to be destroyed. Naturally, it was 
a mere idle threat. 

This was the epoch in which the poet of San Gimig- 
nano, Messer Folgore, flourished. As we have seen, his 
principal work is associated with Siena ; but there is a 
second series of sonnets, eight in number, for the different 
days of the week, which is more connected with his native 
city. They are dedicated to the Florentine, Carlo di 
Messer Guerra Cavicciuoli, who had served San Gimig- 
nano as condottiere in the war against Volterra. A more 
strenuous and virile note is struck here than in the better- 
known Sienese series for the months, in as much as, 

San Gimlgnano 

amidst the singing and love-making, the feasting and 
jousting, hunting and hawking, there is at least one day of 
genuine fighting to be done : 

"To a new world on Tuesday shifts my song, *^ . * 

Where beat of drum is heard, and trumpet-bh 
Where footmen armed and horsemen armed g 

And bells say ding to bells that answer dong ; 

Where he the first and after him the throng, 
Armed all of them with coats and hoods of steel, 
Shall see their foes and make their foes to feel, 

And so in wrack and rout drive them along." 1 

For the rest, Folgore was a furious Guelf, and when 
his party was crushed by Uguccione della Faggiuola, on 
the tremendous day of Montecatini in 1315, he hurled 
his defiance at God Himself: " I praise Thee not, O 
God, nor adore Thee ; I pray not to Thee, and 1 thank 
Thee not ; and I serve Thee not, for I am more sick of 
it than are the souls of being in Purgatory. For Thou 
hast put the Guelfs to such torment that the Ghibellines 
mock us and harrow us, and, if Uguccione demanded 
duty from Thee, Thou wouldst pay it readily." 2 

In 1319 two brothers of the Baroncetti, Messer 
Tribaldo and Fresco, conspired to make the first-named 
despot of the town. He was a leader of the Guelfs, 
potent in their councils, lavish with his money. With 
their allies and friends the two attempted to surprise the 
Palace ; but the people rose in arms and drove them from 
the town ; they were sentenced to perpetual banishment 
and their goods confiscated. " There was a knight of 
the Baroncetti," writes Fra Matteo Ciaccheri in his 
rhymed chronicle, " and he was a mighty man : Messer 
Tribaldo was his name. He sought by every way and 
means to become lord of all, and to make himself fine 
with the noble mantle. Therefore was he hunted out 

1 Rossetti's translation. 

2 Sonnet 33 in Navone's edition. 


*Ihe Story of Siena 

with great fury, and Messer Fresco, for they were 
brothers : for all the town rose in tumult." l After this 
the Captain of the People, whose office had hitherto been 
frequently held by the Podesta, became more important, 
and the special council over which he presided was 
limited to popolani. Guards were continually kept on 
the Tower of the Podesta and the Tower of the People ; 
chains were made for the streets and gates, and special 
custodians of them appointed for each of the four 
contrade. But the factions grew more and more 
embittered, and the days of the little Republic were 

Led by the Ardinghelli, the fuoruscitl were ravaging 
the contado, when in 1332 the Sangimignanesi, headed 
by their Podesta, Messer Piero di Duccio Saracini of 
Siena, took and burned Camporbiano, which had sheltered 
them. But Camporbiano was in the contado of Florence. 
The Florentines instantly summoned the Podesta and the 
leaders of the expedition to appear before them, and, 
when they did not appear, condemned the Commune of 
San Gimignano to pay a heavy fine, and their Podesta, 
with one hundred and forty-eight men of the town, to be 
burned alive. When the Florentine troops were actually 
on the march, the Sangimignanesi begged pardon, and 
threw themselves on the mercy of the Commune and 
People of Florence, who forgave them fairly magnani- 
mously, on the condition of taking back the exiles and 
making good the damage that they had done to Campor- 
biano, according to the valuation of the men of the latter 
place themselves and of the Florentine ambassadors. 
After this, the Florentines soon began to treat San 
Gimignano as a vassal State, demanding soldiers and 
tributes, forcing its councils to ratify their corrections of 
the statutes. When the Duke of Athens made himself 
lord of Florence in 1342, the Ardinghelli (who had 

1 Cronachetta di San Gimignano^ 163-171. 


San Gimignano 

been expelled again) attempted in the night to surprise 
the town, with the aid of the ducal forces, at the Porta 
della Fonte. The attempt failed, but in the following 
February the Commune was forced to submit to the 
Duke, who began to build a castle to secure his hold. A 
few months later, on his fall, it was razed to the ground 
and his adherents expelled. Again the Ardinghelli, led 
by Primerano and Francesco, in secret understanding 
with their friends within, attempted to get possession of 
the town, and again they were unsuccessful. Civil war 
now broke out in the contado, and in 1346 the Ardin- 
ghelli, with a strong force of armed men collected from 
all quarters, again assailed the walls. At last, by the 
intervention of the Florentines, a peace was patched up, 
and the Ardinghelli returned. 

Broken in spirit by the pestilence of 1348, hopelessly 
in debt to the banking houses of Florence and with 
factions still devastating the town, in the spring of 1349 
the Commune of San Gimignano was compelled to sur- 
render the custody and government of the State to the 
Florentines for three years, with the conditions that the 
Commune of Florence should every six months send a 
cittadmo popolano from Florence as Captain of the Guard 
and another as Podesta (the latter, however, elected by 
the Sangimignanesi themselves), and that the citizens 
of San Gimignano should be declared true and lawful 
citizens of Florence, with the same rights and privileges 
as the Florentines. 

The mutual hatred of the Ardinghelli and the Salvucci 
now blazed out afresh. Temporarily allayed by the 
appearance of some three hundred Florentine cavalry in 
the town, it came to a head in 1352. In a street brawl, 
a certain Ser Ilario struck Michele di Pietro, one of the 
Nine ; Rossellino di Mcsser Gualtieri degli Ardinghelli 
(the brother of the Primerano already mentioned), who 
was present, was made responsible and fined. The 


The Story of Siena 

Salvucci declared that Bartolommeo Altoviti, who was 
Captain of the town for the Florentines, had favoured 
Rossellino, and contrived that he should be succeeded by 
Benedetto di Giovanni Strozzi. Benedetto was easily con- 
vinced by them that Rossellino and Primerano were plot- 
ting with Altoviti against him. He promptly arrested the 
two brothers, " young men of great expectation and 
following," says Matteo Villani, "and Guelfs by dis- 
position and birth," and imprisoned them. They 
threw a letter out of their prison tower, calling upon 
their friends to deliver them. It fell into the hands of 
the Captain, who, impelled " either by zeal of his office 
or by his own evil disposition or by the instigation of 
the Salvucci, their enemies," determined to put them to 
death. The Commune of Florence, believing them 
innocent, sent an express command to Benedetto that he 
should not take their lives: but the Elsa had risen in 
flood, and the messengers could not pass that night. The 
Captain, hearing that they were on the way, hurried on 
the execution ; on August 9th, he had the two young 
nobles publicly beheaded in the Piazza at the foot of the 
steps of the Palace, together with the supposed accomplice 
to whom they had written the fatal letter. 

Thirsting for vengeance, the Ardinghelli, on December 
2Oth, introduced the soldiery of the lords of Picchena 
and of the exiled Rossi of Florence into the town by the 
Porta di Quercecchio. Followed by the majority of 
the people, they assailed the houses of the Salvucci, 
who were taken by surprise and made little resistance, 
drove them out of the place, sacked and burned their 
palaces and those of their adherents, and occupied the 
town for themselves. On Christmas Day, the Salvucci 
and their friends appeared in Florence, demanding the 
aid of the Commune under whose guardianship (they 
said) they had been thus robbed and maltreated. On 
the other side the Ardinghelli, in the name and with the 


San Gimignano 

authority of the Commune of oan Gimignano, sent 
ambassadors, declaring that they had driven out the 
Ghibellines and would hold the town in honour of the 
Commune of Florence and of the Parte Guelfa. In 
February, the Florentines sent their Podesta, Paolo 
Vaiani of Rome, with a strong force of horse and foot, 
to restore order. Reaching the town and receiving no 
answer to their summons, they set their camp in hostile 
array and began to waste the country ; but none sallied 
out nor made any resistance. Then the people forced 
the Ardinghelli to surrender. It was agreed that the 
Florentines should make peace between them and the 
exiles, should have the custody of the town for five more 
years, and should keep a Captain of the Guard there 
with seventy-five horsemen at the cost of the inhabitants, 
and that the Salvucci should return after six months. 
But the lords of Picchena having made no apology 
to Florence for their share in the matter, the Floren- 
tines in June destroyed their walls and fortress, " in 
order that this castle might no more be the cause of 
San Gimignano and Colle being stirred up to any 
rebellion." * 

Very striking is the last, piteous appeal of Fra 
Matteo Ciaccheri to his countrymen, to let the dead 
rest and save San Gimignano before it is too late : 

"Among the castles it is the very flower, and we 
are destroying it with all our might. It is the will of 
God, our Lord, that it should come to nought for our 
sin ; within my heart I feel bitter grief thereat ! Each 
of us has been hunted out, because we have turned to 
these factions, and we have been slain and burned and 
taken and robbed. For God's sake, let us let the past 
be past, and each one strive to be a good brother, and 
look upon each other with kindly eyes. And so shall 
we save this noble jewel, which doth ever move my 

1 Matteo Villani, iii. 22, 46, 55, 69: Pecori, pp. 168-171. 


The Story of Siena 

heart with love, so delightful and beauteous it seemeth 
to me." i 

But all efforts were useless. The Salvucci and the 
Ardinghelli would have no dealings with each other, 
*' and they kept all the town in gloom." Each house 
longed to be avenged on the other and opposed the othe^ 
at every turn. At length the Ardinghelli, being poorer 
and weaker than the Salvucci, decided to anticipate their 
enemies and to urge the people to make a complete and 
perpetual surrender to the Commune of Florence. In 
spite of the protests of the Salvucci, this was decided in 
a general Parliament in July, 1353. The Salvucci had 
potent friends in Florence, whom they stirred up to get 
the submission rejected, on the grounds that it was not 
the will of the people of San Gimignano themselves, but 
the work of a faction. The Signoria declared that 
they " only desired the love and the goodwill of all the 
Commune, and not the lordship of that town in division 
of the people." Then two hundred and fifty of the 
chief men of San Gimignano appeared before the Priors 
and Gonfaloniere of Florence, assuring them that it was 
the will of all their people, whose only hope of salvation 
lay in being accepted by the Florentines. Hearing this, 
the Signoria formally proposed to the Council of the 
People of Florence that the surrender should be accepted ; 
but such was still the influence of the Salvucci that it 
was barely carried. "That which every one should 
have desired, as a great and honourable acquisition for 
his native land," says Matteo Villani, " found so many 
opposed to it in the secret balloting, that it was only 
carried by one black bean. I am ashamed to have 
written it, so infamous was it of my fellow citizens. 
The motion being carried, the terra of the noble castle 
of San Gimignano and its contado and district became 
part of the contado of the Commune of Florence." 2 

1 Cronachetta, 8-21 2 iii. 73. 


San Gimignano 

There was a great display of confidence and magnan- 
imity on either side. The Sangimignanesi sent a blank 
sheet of parchment with their seal to Florence, for the 
conditions of their submission. The Florentines crossed 
it and sent it back with two other blank sheets, for the 
Sangimignanesi to fill up as they pleased. Finally, on 
'August nth, 1353, the terms were arranged in the 
jPalazzo Vecchio at Florence. They were, remarks 
Pecori, " most honourable terms, alike for those who 
dictated and those who received them." And this is 
true, so far as everything connected with the taxes and 
with the local statutes and customs of the place are 
concerned ; and all of the terra and contado, except the 
" magnates, or those that are considered such by the 
statutes of the said town," are to be " in perpetuity, 
verily and originally, of the contado and of the people, 
popolant of Florence." One of the articles stipulates 
that " all the artisans of San Gimignano, who shall wish 
to be admitted to the matriculation of any Art in Florence, 
can be received gratuitously by the respective consuls ; 
it being expressly stated that it is lawful to each one of 
that town to exercise his own art there freely, notwith- 
standing the ordinances of the Arts of Florence." But, 
in San Gimignano itself, there is to be a Florentine 
Podesta with full jurisdiction and power, according to 
the statutes of the terra itself, and further, an unmistak- 
able note of servitude, it is stipulated " that in the Terra 
of San Gimignano there be constructed a fortress, at the 
expense of this Commune, in the place that shall be 
determined by the commissaries of the Signoria of 
Florence." * 

Thus ended the independence of San Gimignano, after 
a period of a century and a half. As long as the great 
Republic into whose hands they had fallen lasted, the 

1 The conditions of this final submission are given in full in 
Pecori, pp. 174-179- 


The Story of Siena 

Sangimignanesi kept up some sort of appearance of 
communal liberty, and were even allowed to send 
ambassadors and treat with the other communes of 
Tuscany on their own account in small matters of 
commerce and boundaries. The nine Governors and 
Defenders of the Town became the eight Priors 
(reduced to six in 1390) and the Gonfaloniere of 
Justice, after the Florentine model. When the Podesta 
entered upon his term of office, he came out in state 
upon the steps of the Palace, presented the letters of 
the Signoria of Florence to the assembled people, took 
the oath and received from the Gonfaloniere the baton 
of command and the keys of the town. In like fashion 
the Priors and the Captains of the Parte Guelfa entered 
upon their terms of office with great pomp, always 
magnificently attired ; the great banner and the seal of 
the Commune were still solemnly consigned to the 
crimson-robed Gonfaloniere ; and in public ceremonies 
the magistrates were accompanied by young squires with 
trumpets, robed in red and yellow, the colours of the 
Commune, with black caps and green cloaks emblazoned 
with the arms of San Gimignano in silver. Down to 
the eighteenth century, San Gimignano was famous for 
the magnificence of its municipal functions. 

Until the end of the fourteenth century, painting in 
San Gimignano appears to have been exclusively 
practised by Sienese masters. In the fifteenth century 
it was exclusively Florentine. At the end of this 
century, San Gimignano produced two excellent painters 
of its own, though neither of them in the front rank. 
Sebastiano Mainardi (died in 1513) became the favourite 
pupil of Domenico Ghirlandaio, whose sister Alessandra 
he married ; he was a diligent artist, who followed his 
master with ability, and frequently worked from his 
designs. Vincenzo di Bernardo Tamagni (1492-1533) 
worked under Raphael in the Vatican, and imitated his 


San Gimignano 

style with considerable success. Vasari praises his soft 
colouring and the beauty of his figures. His life appears 
to have been unfortunate. In 1511 Bazzi had him 
imprisoned for debt in the prison of the Podesta of 
Montalcino, and in 1527 he was ruined in the sack of 
Rome, after which, says Vasari, " he lived on, in little 
happiness." Bernardo Poccetti (1542-1612), by whom 
there is much second-rate fresco painting in Florence, 
was also a native of San Gimignano. 

At least one Sangimignanese in the days of the 
Renaissance acquired an European reputation. Filippo 
de' Buonaccorsi was born here in 1437, of an old and 
noble family. He was one of the humanists who flocked 
to Rome in the days of Pius II. Here he was asso- 
ciated with Pomponius Laetus in the founding of the 
famous Academy, and took the name of Callimachus, 
which was supposed to be the classical equivalent of 
Buonaccorsi. He was a leader in the real or fictitious 
plot against Paul II., of which Platina gives us so vivid 
a picture in his life of that Pontiff, and saved himself by 
flight. Later on, he made his way to Poland, where 
King Casimir IV. made him tutor to his sons and one of 
his secretaries, and frequently sent him on embassies. 
When Casimir' s son, John Albert, succeeded to the 
throne in 1492, Filippo became his chief minister and 
adviser, and is said to have counselled the King to resist 
the nobles and aim at despotic power. He died at 
Cracow in 1496, leaving a number of works in Latin, 
dealing with the history of Poland and Hungary. On 
one occasion, when on his way to Rome as ambassador 
from King Casimir to Pope Innocent VIII., Buon- 
accorsi passed through San Gimignano. He received a 
pompous reception from the Commune, in order that 
others, his fellow-citizens, might be encouraged to follow 
in his footsteps, 


In the Town of the Beautiful Towers 

C AN GTMIGNANO is still surrounded by its second 
^ circuit of walls, built to inclose the Castello Nuovo 
at the end of the twelfth or beginning of the thirteenth 
century. The five massive towers that strengthen the 
walls were raised by the Florentines in the fifteenth 
century, and the whole town is surmounted by the 
Florentine castle, the Rocca di Montestaffoli. The 
three main gates have been preserved ; the Porta San 
Matteo to the north, the Porta San Giovanni to the 
south, the Porta della Fonte to the east ; and there is a 
smaller portal to the west, below the Rocca, the Porta 
di Quercecchio. And portions even remain of the first 
ancient circuit of walls that, during the eleventh and 
twelfth centuries, inclosed the Castello Vecchio ; espe- 
cially two massive portoni in the chief street where the 
two chief gates stood, known as the Arco della Cancel- 
leria and the Arco de 7 Becci or de' Talei, respectively. 
Even in 1355, Fra Matteo Ciaccheri could write of 
u the great ruin of the towers, of which many I see 
destroyed. " At present, only thirteen of these towers 
are standing. 

Until the great pestilence of 1348, San Gimignano 
was divided into four contrade : the contrade of the 
Castello, of the Piazza, of San Matteo and of San 
Giovanni. After 1348, it was divided into thirds, the 
contrade of the Castello and Piazza being made one. 

In the Town of the Beautiful Towers 

In the sixteenth century these three were further reduced 
to two, as at present ; the Contrada di San Matteo and 
the Contrada di San Giovanni. 

The centre of interest in the town is the former 
Piazza della Pieve, the historical scene of all the great 
State functions of the Republic, now called the Piazza 
Vittorio Emanuele. Here are the Collegiata or Pieve 
(sometimes, but incorrectly, styled the Duomo 1 ), the 
Palazzo del Popolo or Palazzo Comunale (sometimes 
called the new Palazzo del Podesta), and the old 
Palazzo del Podesta. 

The Collegiata, or Pieve, was originally built in the 
eleventh century and modified in the fourteenth, the 
stone columns of the nave with their curiously worked 
capitals and part of the exterior belonging to the earlier 
epoch. But, in 1466, Giuliano da Maiano came to the 
place and designed the new choir and chapels, with the 
result that the church is a peculiar combination of 
Romanesque and early Renaissance architecture. The 
walls of the aisles and between the two doors are a mass 
of glowing fresco painting, illustrating the whole story of 
Sienese art during that epoch that intervened between 
the deaths of the Lorenzetti and the rise of the great 
painters (practically the scholars of Taddeo di Bartolo) 
of the Quattrocento but presently yielding, like San 
Gimignano itself, to the Florentines. On the left, in 
three parallel series, are scenes from the Old Testament 
by Bartolo di Fredi, finished in 1356 ; the Creation and 
Expulsion from Paradise, Cain and Abel, the story of 
Noah, Abraham and Lot, the stories of Joseph, Moses, 
and Job. They impress us by their naivete, the charm 

1 With the exception of the churches of Cellole and San 
Pietro, San Gimignano is in the diocese of the Bishop of Colle. 
The chief ecclesiastical dignitary of the town, the head of the 
Collegiata, is the Profosto or Provost at present the learned 
Don Ugo Nomi- Pesciolini, whose invariable kindness and 
courtesy to visitors are well known to English travellers. 


The Story of Siena 

and grace with which the Sienese tell a story ; note the 
delightful realism in the Building of the Ark, the beauti- 
ful group of women and children on the altogether im- 
possible beasts intended for camels in the Crossing of the 
Red Sea. On the right are scenes from the New Testa- 
ment, the life of Christ from the Annunciation to the 
Crucifixion ; the later scenes have been destroyed (in 
the sixteenth century) to make room for the orchestra, 
but we can just see the remains of the Descent into Hades 
and the Ascension. They were begun by Barna of 
Siena, who fell from his scaffolding here and was killed 
in 1380, and finished by his pupil Giovanni da Asciano. 
Though of no surpassing merit, the scenes are well com- 
posed, in accordance with the usual tradition, and the 
painter has caught enough of Duccio's spirit for the 
sacred stories to receive fairly adequate illustration for 
devotional purposes. The whole scheme of decoration 
of the aisles and nave is to set forth the entire creed of 
mediaeval Christianity, in accordance with which we see 
on either side of the window of the right aisle (below 
which is a memorial tablet to Barna) the peacocks, the 
emblems of the Resurrection. Round the central window 
is what completes the whole tale of human life, from this 
point of view : the Last Judgment, painted by Taddeo di 
Bartolo in 1393. It is a mere variation of the usual 
mediaeval composition ; Christ is enthroned as Judge, 
with Angels bearing trumpets and the emblems of the 
Passion, the Madonna and Baptist kneeling on either side 
as representing Divine Mercy and Divine Justice re- 
spectively ; lower down are Enoch and Elijah as assessors, 
while the twelve Apostles are seated below the window. 
At the sides, to right and left of the Judge, are Heaven 
and Hell. Christ and His Mother are seen in the 
Empyrean, with Angels and Saints in the fruition of the 
Beatific Vision. The Hell is disgusting and vile, even 
beyond the usual fashion of these representations. Those 

In the Town of the Beautiful Towers 

who can endure it, will be able to work through its revolt- 
ing details with the aid of the scrolls, and will be 
interested to note how certain Dantesque motives (the 
punishment of the panders and seducers is a good 
instance) have become coarsened and brutalised by the 
feebler imagination or provincial taste of the Sienese 
painter or his Sangimignanese employers. 

After the pestilence of 1348, it was decreed that an 
altar should be built, between the two doors of the 
Pieve, in honour of St Fabian and St Sebastian, to put 
the survivors under their protection. The fresco that 
we now see in that place, under Taddeo's Last Judg- 
ment, by Benozzo Gozzoli, commemorates the pestilence 
of 1464, and was ordered by Fra Domenico Strambi, 
an Augustinian monk, who was regarded as the great 
theological light in San Gimignano in the latter part of 
the fifteenth century, and to whom many of the artistic 
monuments of the town are due. He had been sent to 
study theology in Paris, partly at the cost of the Com- 
mune, in 1454, and received a State welcome on his 
return. Benozzo, as the inscription states, finished the 
work, " to the praise of the most glorious athlete, St 
Sebastian," in January 1465 (that is, according to our 
modern reckoning, 1466). The Saint himself is im- 
passive and stolid, though his body is a mass of arrows ; 
the group of Florentines who seem practising archery, 
on our left, is the most satisfactory part of the fresco. 
Angels crown the martyr, Christ and the Madonna 
appear to him in glory above the clouds. In the frieze 
we see St Geminianus above with the model of his 
town, and, in the corners below, Bartolo and Fina. The 
Eternal Father with the Dove and the beautiful group of 
Angels (completing the scene of the Annunciation, with 
the two wooden statues of Mary and Gabriel by a Sienese 
sculptor of the preceding century) are also by Benozzo. 
His, too, arc the Assumption on the left, the St Antony 


The Story of Siena 

and four Saints on the pilasters. The Patriarchs opposite 
the scenes from the Old Testament, the medallions of 
the Apostles between the arches, the Christ above the 
steps to the choir, are by the priest, Pier Francesco 
Fiorentino, that curiously unprogressive painter of the 
latter part of the fifteenth century, whose works abound 
here and in the neighbourhood. 1 

At the end of the right aisle is the shrine of Santa 
Fina. The chapel is a perfect gem of later fifteenth 
century art ; architecture, sculpture and painting are 
blended to form a plastic poem even more harmonious 
than that of the more strenuous virgin of Siena in San 
Domenico. It was designed by Giuliano da Maiano 
in 1468 ; the shrine itself, in pure white and gold, was 
executed by Giuliano's brother, Benedetto, in 1475. 
It is not quite as the sculptor left it. Above the sarco- 
phagus are the Madonna and Child in a glory of cherubs 
with two Angels ; underneath them are scenes from 
Fina's life in relief; her vision of St Gregory, her 
funeral, her appearing to heal a sick woman. These 
predella scenes were originally below, the present base of 
cherubs' heads and sacramental cups being more modern. 
Below, on either side of the tabernacle, are four Angels 
in niches, and two more (isolated statues) kneel with 
vases of flowers on either side of the altar. Upon the 
sarcophagus, with curious naked genii in the spirit of the 
Renaissance, is the inscription : 

" Virginis ossa latent tumulo quern suspicis, hospes. 

Haec decus, exemplum, praesidiumque suis. 
Nomen Fina fuit; patria haec ; miracula quaeris ? 
Perlege quae paries vivaque signa decent." 2 

1 See the list given by Mr Berenson, Florentine Painter /, 

PP- i? 2 -^ 

2 "The bones of a virgin lie hidden in the tomb which 
thou beholdest, stranger ; she is the glory, the example, the 
guardian of her fellow-citizens. Her name was Fina ; this 


In the Town of the Beautiful Towers 

And it is dated MCCCCLXXV. All round the chapel runs 
a frieze of cherubs' heads. In two large lunettes on 
either side are two admirable frescoes by Domenico 
Ghirlandaio, which have a freshness and simplicity that 
we hardly find elsewhere in his work. On the right is 
the bare, poverty-stricken room where Fina lies on her 
plank, which has already begun to break out into flowers 
beneath her. Her faithful nurse Beldi supports her 
head with the hand that, according to the legend, caught 
the disease, and another woman is seated by her ; both 
are peasant types, in the dress of peasants at the painter's 
own day. They do not see the sudden vision of St 
Gregory in his glory, that sheds its splendour over the 
humble chamber, but they gaze up because of Fina's rapt 
face. Above, the Angels are carrying her soul up to 
Paradise. Opposite is the funeral, a picture full of those 
splendid Florentine portrait heads that Domenico painted 
so well. Fina has just placed her dead hand upon that 
of her nurse, and thereby cured her ; Bishop Ranieri of 
Volterra, who had a few months back reconciled the con- 
flicting factions of the town, is reading the office for 
the dead. In the background are the towers of San 
Gimignano, and the Angels are ringing the bells. These 
two frescoes appear to be very early works of the 
painter, who had probably been introduced to the 
Operaio of the Collegiata by either the architect or 
sculptor. 1 The Prophets and Saints in the angles and 
round the windows, the Evangelists on the ceiling are 
the work of Sebastiano Mainardi. 

In the choir is a Madonna and Child with Saints and 
Angels, signed by Benozzo Gozzoli, and dated 1466. 

her native land. Dost thou seek miracles? Scan what the 
wall and life-like statues teach." 

1 It has been argued that the last line of the epitaph proves 
that the frescoes were painted not later than 1475 ; but this 
is not by any means conclusive, as the subjects had probably 
been settled from the beginning. 


The Story of Siena 

How stiff and archaic it seems by comparison with its 
neighbour, the Coronation of the Madonna by Pietro 
Pollaiuolo, signed and dated 1483, one of the pictures 
commissioned by Fra Domenico Strambi ! Instead of 
Benozzo's heavy gold haloes in which the names of the 
saints are inscribed (a characteristic which he borrowed 
from his master Angelico), Pietro reduces this emblem of 
sanctity to an almost imperceptible thin ring of gold and 
makes their human side predominant. There is a 
certain harshness about Pollaiuolo's picture ; Christ 
and the Madonna are unattractive types, and there is an 
excessive display of anatomical knowledge ; but the ad- 
mirable heads and powerfully modelled figures of the 
six saints Geminianus and Bartolo (the two central 
figures), Augustine and Jerome, Fina and Nicholas of 
Tolentino are unsurpassable in their way. The head 
of San Bartolo, especially, is a magnificent piece ot 
painting. The beautiful mitres of Augustine and 
Geminianus on the ground show that the painter was 
also a goldsmith. On the left is a somewhat Raffael- 
esque Madonna and Child with Saints, one of the best 
works of Vincenzo Tamagni ; the black monk kneeling 
in front is not Aquinas (as might be supposed from his 
attributes), but Nicholas of Tolentino who is much 
honoured in this town. The choir stalls date from 
1490, and there are some illuminated choir books, one 
of them with ten excellent miniatures ascribed to Niccolo 
di Set Sozzo Tegliacci, whose masterpiece in this kind 
we have seen at Siena. 

San Gimignano was the first town in Italy to listen 
to the teaching of Fra Girolamo Savonarola, while 
Florence still rejected him. He preached the Lents of 
1484 and 1485 in this very church. It was here that 
he first uttered the words of threefold prophecy that 
were soon to echo through the world. There was to 
be a renovation of the Church ; but, first, the scourge of 


In the Town of the Beautiful lowers 

God would fall upon her and upon Italy; and these 
things would come speedily. Can we not imagine his 
eyes resting on Taddeo's Last Judgment at the end of 
the church, when he first mounted the pulpit, thrust 
back his cowl, and gazed round upon the assembled 
people ? 

In the sacristy there is an admirable bust, by 
Benedetto da Maiano, of Onofrio di Pietro, the Operaio 
of the Collegiata under whose superintendence the 
building was restored and the shrine of Santa Fina 
constructed; he died in 1488. The marble ciborium 
is also by Benedetto. A Madonna and Child with six 
Saints by Sebastiano Mainardi does not show that painter 
at his best. Out of the left aisle opens the chapel of 
San Giovanni, with a frescoed Annunciation of 1482, 
probably executed by Mainardi from the design of 
Ghirlandaio, and an old baptismal font (still used) 
made by Giovanni Cecchi of Siena in 1379 at the 
expense of the Arte della Lana, with quaint bas-reliefs 
of the Baptism of Christ, Angels and the Agnus Dei 
of the Guild. This same Guild, together with the 
Commune, had previously borne the cost of Bartolo di 
Fredi's frescoes. There is a cloister attached to the 
Pieve with a few remains of frescoes, one of which a 
Pieta is ascribed by Mr Berenson to Pier Francesco 

At the side of the Collegiata is the Palazzo 
Comunale or Palazzo del Popolo, which was begun 
in 1288. Its great tower, the Torre del Comune, 
was begun in 1300 and finished about 1311, when the 
bell of the Commune was placed there. The palace is 
sometimes called the new Palazzo del Podesta, because 
after 1353 the Florentine Podesta resided here. The 
steps lead up to the platform upon which the Podesta 
stood when he presented his credentials and received the 
baton and keys from the Gonfaloniere, and it was at its 


The Story of Siena 

steps that the two Ardinghelli had been beheaded in 
1352. There is a picturesque court, with fragments of 
frescoes and armorial bearings, and a well of 1 360. To 
the right of the court is what was once the Cappella 
delle Carceri. Opposite the door is a fresco of the 
Madonna and Child enthroned, with St Geminianus and 
another bishop, of the school of Taddeo di Bartolo. 
By Bazzi (hastily executed and much repainted) are 
frescoes in chiaroscuro, representing St Ivo, the just 
young judge, administering justice to the poor and help- 
less, and, at the foot of the stairs, a magistrate seated 
between Truth and Prudence, trampling upon the 

In the Sala del Consiglio, the councils of the Com- 
mune met in the fourteenth century, and it was here that 
Dante, on May 7th, 1300, spoke on behalf of the Guelf 
League of Tuscany. Here are remains of remarkable 
frescoes painted in 1 292, and which he must therefore 
have seen ; they represent hunting scenes and jousting, 
knights dashing against each other with swords and 
lances in the regular Arthurian style, a centaur slaying a 
hydra, Scolaio Ardinghelli arbitrating between the Com- 
mune and the clergy. This latter scene refers to a great 
dispute that began in 1290 between the Commune and 
the clergy of the town, concerning tithes and taxes. 
When the Bishop of Volterra put the place under the 
interdict, the people broke down the doors of the Pieve 
and had Mass celebrated there in spite of him, upon 
which the Proposto and his clergy left, carrying off the 
pictures and other treasures of the church with them. 
Pope Nicholas IV. intervened, and at last the matter was 
referred to Scolaio Ardinghelli, a prelate high in favour 
with the Pope, who in April 1292 decided in favour of 
the Commune. The picture was ordered by the latter 
in the same year. The rest of the frescoes were de- 
stroyed to make way for the large fresco by Lippo 
35 2 

In the 7 own of the Beautiful Towers 

Memmi, painted in 1317 in imitation of the work his 
brother-in-law had just completed in Siena, representing 
the Blessed Virgin and her Son enthroned and sur- 
rounded by the celestial court of Saints and Angels, 
while Messer Nello di Mino Tolomei of Siena, podesta 
and captain of the Commune and People of San Gimig- 
nano, kneels at her feet under the patronage of St 
Nicholas. In his rhymed chronicle, Fra Matteo deals 
somewhat hardly with this dignified magistrate, calling 
him the ruin of the town, d'tsfacimento di San Gimignano, 
accusing him of stirring up the people. The fresco was 
restored by Benozzo Gozzoli in 1467, who painted the 
four saints at the sides. 

The Pinacoteca, on the third floor of the Palace, con- 
tains some excellent works. The more important are 
the following : A triptych by Taddeo di Bartolo, the 
Madonna and Child with Saints, the Annunciation, 
Christ blessing with St Peter and St Paul above ; the 
Madonna and Child, with the Baptist and St Francis, 
St Gregory and Santa Fina (the latter very sweet and 
golden-haired, with her flowers), a good Florentine 
work of the school of Benozzo Gozzoli ; St Bartholomew 
with scenes from his martyrdom, by Lorenzo di Niccolo 
of Florence, dated 1401 ; two little panels with four 
miracles of Santa Fina, probably by the last-named 
painter ; St Geminianus enthroned with a model of the 
town, with eight scenes of his miracles, including his 
appearance on the walls of San Gimignano to drive back 
Attila, by Taddeo di Bartolo ; a triptych, by an unknown 
painter of the Quattrocento, representing St Julian with 
St Antony and St Martin, on either side of which are 
little pictures of Santa Fina and St Gregory, perhaps by 
Lorenzo di Niccolo ; a Madonna and Child with two 
Saints (restored), by Pier Francesco Fiorentino ; two 
excellent tondi by Sebastiano Mainardi. At the end of 
the room are the two chief treasures of the collection. 


The Story of Siena 

The Madonna alone in a glory of Cherubs, with a pope 
and an abbot kneeling in adoration in a beautiful land- 
scape, is one of the finest of Pinturicchio's works, in 
colour and in expression ; it was painted for the convent 
of the Olivetani outside the Porta San Giovanni. On 
either side of it are two tondl representing the Annuncia- 
tion, in beautiful old frames ; these were commissioned 
by the Commune in 1482, and, though in colour and form 
they curiously approach Botticelli, appear to be early 
works of Filippino Lippi. M. Paul Bourget especially 
admires the Gabriel, " un Ange annonciateur au profil 
douloureusement extatique, aux mains blanches et fines 
dans leur longueur." There is also an altar-piece by Fra 
Paolino da Pistoia, which may possibly have been painted 
by him from a design of Fra Bartolommeo's, but is very 
poor in execution. There are several frescoes ascribed 
to Pier Francesco Fiorentino in other rooms of the 

Opposite the Collegiata is the old Palazzo del Podesta, 
where that magistrate resided until San Gimignano 
surrendered to Florence. It was built in the thirteenth 
and enlarged early in the fourteenth century. There is 
some antique iron work, including a fine fanalc, on the 
fagade, and in the Loggia are the remains of a fresco 
painted by Bazzi in 1513. Its tall tower, only slightly 
lower than that of the Torre del Comune, originally 
called the Rognosa and, after 1407, the Torre delP 
Orologio, marked the limit to which noble citizens 
might build their private towers. When at nightfall its 
bell, those of the Pieve and the more sonorous one of 
the Commune answer each other, the Sangimignancsi 
assure me that the sound can be heard in Florence. 
The tower near it is that of the Savorelli. 

Adjacent to the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele is the 
Piazza Cavour, formerly called the Piazza della Cisterna 
from the old octagonal well of 1273 that still adorns it. 



In the Town of the Beautiful Towers 

On the left is the imposing Torre Pratellesi, originally 
the tower of the Palazzo Paltoncini in which the Podesta 
occasionally held his court in the first half of the 
thirteenth century. Opposite to it, is the tasteful little 
Gothic brick Palazzo Friani, a restored structure of the 
fourteenth century. Here is the tall, grass-grown Torre 
Cinatti, one of the most characteristic of the noble towers 
of the town. The two dismantled towers on the right 
are the remains of the palace of the Ardinghelli, in 
which the councils of the Commune met occasionally in 
the thirteenth century. At the corner of the Piazza is 
the Portone de' Beccie Cugnanesi, or Arco dei Talei, of 
the original circuit of walls before the end of the twelfth 
century, to the right of which is the picturesque Vicolo 
de' Becci, ending under a massive arch with one of those 
quaintly picturesque views that make the town an artistic 
delight at every turn. 

Between the Via San Matteo and the Piazza delP 
Erbe are remains of a large palace, with two very tall 
twin towers. This appears to have been the Palazzo 
Salvucci, 1 the towers still showing traces of the fires 
kindled round them by the vengeful Ardinghelli. Op- 
posite them, in the Via San Matteo, is the Torre 
Pettini. Thence we pass under a massive double arch, 
the Arco della Cancelleria or Portone di San Matteo, 
of the first circuit of walls. On our right are the 
Library and small Dante Museum, the latter inaugurated 
on the sixth centenary of Dante's embassy to the town. 
A little further on, the church of San Bartolo has a 
picturesque facade of the eleventh century. Beyond is 
the great palace tower of the Pesciolini (according to a 
quite unhistorical tradition once the residence of Desiderio, 
King of the Lombards), in the style of the fourteenth 
century. The basement of what was once a palace, on 

1 So I gather from Fra Matteo and Pecori ; other writers 
call it the Palazzo Ardinghelli. 


The Story of Siena 

the left, has decorative frescoes of the school of Poccetti. 
At the Porta San Matteo, we turn down the little lane 
within the walls to the Piazza Sant' Agosdno. 

The church of Sant' Agostino was built between 
1280 and 1299. It was consecrated by the Car- 
dinal Matteo d'Acquasparta a short while before 
that very unsatisfactory prelate's attempt to make peace 
in Florence while Dante sat in the priorate. On the 
right of the principal entrance is the chapel of San 
Bartolo, constructed in 1494 by order of the Commune. 
The tomb itself is the work of Benedetto da Maiano and 
his pupils, but hardly equal to the one that Benedetto 
had made for Fina. The tondo of the Madonna 
and Child, in which the Mother is guiding the Infant's 
little hand to bless the people, is most exquisite, and 
probably it (with, perhaps, the three theological virtues) 
is the only part executed by the master himself. The 
three Saints on the wall, the four Doctors on the ceiling 
were painted by Sebastiano Mainardi. The picture over 
the next altar, of the same year 1494, the Madonna 
and Child, with many Saints and a tiny little Dominican 
friar as donor, is one of the best works of Pier Francesco 
Fiorentino. The frescoed Pieta above is ascribed to 
Vincenzo Tamagni. Then comes one of those curious 
symbolical representations of the Passion, which Don 
Lorenzo and Fra Angelico had made traditional. The 
second altar, dedicated to St Nicholas of Tolentino, 
has frescoes of 1529 by Vincenzo Tamagni, representing 
the Madonna and Child with Angels, St Nicholas of 
Tolentino and St Rock, St Antony the abbot and 
St Paul the first hermit. At the first altar on the left, 
the chapel of the Crocifisso, are more frescoes by 
Tamagni ; kneeling opposite the Magdalene at the foot 
of the Cross is St Clare of Montefalco, holding in her 
hand her heart marked with the signs of the Passion ; 
the St Margaret on the left is a thoroughly RafFaelesque 


In the Town of the Beautiful Towers 

figure, while the Madonna and St John are more like 
Perugino at his weakest. Then comes St Sebastian 
taking the people of San Gimignano under his protection 
in the time of pestilence, an admirable fresco by Benozzo 
Gozzoli ; around the Apollo of Christian legend gather 
the people of the town in prayer ; in spite of Christ and 
Mary, the Eternal Father and the Angels of wrath are 
hurling down the arrows of pestilence, but these are 
broken into pieces by other Angels at Sebastian's inter- 
cession. Over the third altar is the Madonna delle 
Grazie with St Michael, originally a fresco by Lippo 
Memmi, but completely repainted and modernised. 

The fresco at the steps, by Sebastiano Mainardi, 
inscribed S. Gcminianus Silviad Populi Gubcrnator, is a 
masterpiece of municipal sentiment. The Saint sits 
enthroned as bishop, while the three local worthies 
kneel before him to receive his blessing ; Mattia Lupi, 
the bald-headed poet with his crown of laurel, who 
wrote in Latin verse the annals of the town and died in 
1 468 ; Domenico Mainardi, a noble-looking, grey-haired 
ecclesiastic, a distinguished canonist, who lectured at 
Bologna, Florence and Siena, was chaplain to Pope 
Martin V., and died in 1422 ; Nello de' Cetti, a writer 
on civil law who died in 1430. The fresco is dated 
1487. The heads are fine, almost worthy of Ghirlandaio, 
but they have been somewhat restored. Below it lies 
Fra Domenico Strambi, " Parisian Doctor," the patron 
of Benozzo and Pollaiuolo, who died in the follow- 
ing year. In the chapel to the left of the choir is 
the Nativity of Mary, a curiously archaic picture by 
Tamagni, and in the chapel to the right are two frescoes 
representing her birth and death, ascribed to Bartolo di 

The frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli in the choir, begun 
for Fra Domenico Strambi in 1463 and finished in 
1465, are among the supreme achievements of Florentine 


The Story of Siena 

painting in the third quarter of the Quattrocento. They 
set forth the chief events in the life of St Augustine, 
partly drawn from the Confessions. The first fresco, in 
which the little Augustine is taken to school by his 
parents, Patritius and Monica, is admirable for the fresh- 
ness and naivete with which the whole comedy of 
school-life, past and present, is treated. The drastic 
methods adopted by the schoolmaster in dealing with 
the little idler are specially referred to in the Confessions, 
where Augustine seems to remember his floggings with 
i curious sense of injury and injustice. 1 In the next 
(partly obliterated), we have his admission to the 
University of Carthage at the age of nineteen that 
season of lawless loves and Manichaean errors so inimi- 
tably described at the beginning of the third Book. On 
the window wall, much damaged and restored, are St 
Monica praying for him, his crossing the sea and arrival 
in Italy. Next, we see him teaching philosophy and 
rhetoric in Rome, the usual composition of the lecturer 
and his pupils which we find elsewhere in the art of the 
fifteenth century, with those splendid portrait heads that 
make the modern student realise the wonderful intel- 
lectual vigour of these Florentines of the Renaissance. 
Then comes the journey from Rome to Milan, whither 
Augustine is sent by the Roman prefect Symmachus, in 
answer to the Milanese request for a teacher of rhetoric ; 
even so might young Pico della Mirandola have looked 
when he first came to Florence. This somewhat, 
indeed, recalls the fresco of the Procession of the Magi 
in the Palazzo Riccaidi, but is naturally in a more 
chastened style. Above, two white-robed, green-winged 
Angels bear a scroll in honour of Fra Domenico 
Strambi, who it is expressly stated at his own cost 
had bidden Benozzo paint here; it is dated 1465. 
Then Augustine arrives at Milan, makes the acquaintance 

1 See the Confessions, i. 9. 

In the Town of the Beautiful Towers 

of Ambrose, is received by the Emperor Theodosius. 
After this he listens to St Ambrose preaching, St 
Monica kneels before the latter (whom, writes the 
Saint, she loved as an Angel of God), and Augustine 
begins to be convinced. On the window wall we have 
the wonderful scene in the garden, where Augustine and 
Alypius are finally and simultaneously converted by the 
reading of the Epistle to the Romans after Augustine 
has heard the child's voice singing again and again from 
the neighbouring house : Toffe, lege ; tolle, kge y " Take 
and read : take and read." J This is followed by his 
Baptism. Next Augustine, black-robed and aureoled, 
is among the monks, and meets the little child by the 
shore who rebukes him for attempting to penetrate into 
the mystery of the Trinity. After this comes perhaps 
the finest picture of the whole series, the Death of St 
Monica, with, at the window high up on the left, the 
famous conversation at Ostia which preceded it; 2 the 
youth standing behind Augustine with clasped hands is 
his son Adeodatus, ex me natus carnaliter^ de peccato meo. 
Monica is sitting up in her bed to receive the Christ 
Child in the Host, and above her soul is being carried 
up to Paradise in the usual little cloud (the nubiletta 
bianchissima of Dante's Vita Nuovd) by Angels. On 
the right of the fresco, Augustine is returning to Africa. 
In the four remaining frescoes of the lunettes and on 
either side of the window, Augustine as Bishop of Hippo 
blesses his people, he confutes the heretic Fortunatus, 
has a vision of the glory of St Jerome in Paradise, and 
at last follows him. This last fresco, representing the 
death and apotheosis of Augustine, is also an admirable 
work. Full of expression and excellently composed, it 
is one of those traditional death scenes which, in their 
ultimate analysis, proceed from Giotto's Death of St 
Francis. The Evangelists on the ceiling, the eight 

1 Confessions, viii. 12. a Ibid. ix. IO, II. 


The Story of Siena 

Saints on the pilasters are also by Benozzo. In these 
frescoes he was assisted by pupils and apprentices, chief 
among whom was a certain Giusto di Andrea, who had 
previously worked with Fra Lippo Lippi. 

Also in the Piazza Sant' Agostino is the small church 
of San Pietro, which has the peculiar distinction of 
depending upon the bishopric of Volterra, while all 
the other churches of the town are subject to the Bishop 
of Colle. It contains several fragments of frescoes of 
the fourteenth century, still partly under whitewash. 
Over the altar on the right is a frescoed Madonna and 
Child with the Baptist and St Paul, of the school of 
Lippo Memmi, in which a rather unusual motive the 
Child is running to the Mother, clasping her hand in one 
and holding a fruit in the other hand. 

In the Via Venti Settembre, on the left, is Santa 
Chiara. The altarpiece is a good work of the chief 
Florentine painter of the seventeenth century, Matteo 
Rosselli. It represents Christ enthroned upon the clouds, 
between the Madonna and the Baptist ; below are St 
Francis and St Louis of France on our left, while on 
our right a motive equally happy in conception and 
execution St Clare is bringing Santa Fina into the 
celestial company. There are several pictures ascribed 
to Rosselli in the town, but this is the only one in the 
least degree worthy of the painter of the David of the 
Pitti. Further on, on the right, are the Hospitals, 
including the Spedale di Santa Fina, founded shortly after 
her death by the Commune, partly from the alms of 
pilgrims. In 1274 two special officers, Esortatori, were 
appointed to visit sick persons, to beg alms or legacies for 
the institution. In the entrance hall, formerly the chapel, 
are frescoes by Mainardi ; four Saints in lunettes and, over 
the door, a Madonna and Child blessing those that enter. 
In the chapel is preserved the tavo/a, the board upon 
which Fina made her hard bed of expiation for the sins 

In the Town of the Beautiful Towers 

of the world, and which blossomed out into flowers 
when her sacrifice was accomplished. 1 Beyond is San 
Girolamo, a church belonging to a convent of Vallom- 
brosan nuns, with an altarpiece by Vincenzo Tamagni of 
1522, with an upper part added by a later hand. At the 
end, connected with the former convent by a covered 
way across, is the church of San Jacopo, which belonged 
to the Knights Templars before the nuns had it ; it is a 
building of the eleventh century (said to have been built 
in 1096 by the Sangimignanesi who returned from the 
Crusades), lovely in its ruin, in a little inclosed plantation 
of olive trees. The ornamented terra-cotta window and 
the curious coloured plates on the facade are noteworthy. 
Within are old frescoes, apparently of the Sienese school 
of the fourteenth century. Mr Berenson ascribes the St 
James on the pilaster to Pier Francesco. Then we pass 
out, through a breach in the walls, to the olive trees that 
clothe them, and to the sweeping view of the valley 

At Santa Chiara, the Via della Fonte leads down 
between vineyards and old walls to the Porta della 
Fonte, over which is a chapel. Outside, over the gate, 
a statue of St Geminianus records the attempt of the 
Ardinghelli and their allies to capture the town for the 
Duke of Athens at this point, in 1342. The wonder- 
fully picturesque fountains below, where the women 
linger over their washing and carry up pitchers to the 
houses, were constructed in the thirteenth and fourteenth 
centuries. A little to the left, among the olives, flaming 
poppies and purple foxgloves, where a few oaks still 
remind us of the woods of old, there is a superb view of 
the " Castello della Selva " right above us, with eight of 
its towers visible. 

The large prison that rises up at the walls, to the left 
of us, occupies the site of the Rocca that defended the 
1 See above, p. 330 (and note). 


The Story of Siena 

town until the Florentine occupation in 1353. After 
that, a Dominican convent was built upon the spot the 
convent in which Savonarola stayed while preaching the 
Lent in the Pieve. It was suppressed in the eighteenth 
century by the Austrian Grand Duke of Tuscany. 
Opposite to it, in the Via del Castello, is the little church 
of San Lorenzo in Ponte, with a few unimportant 
frescoes of the Trecento. 

Passing under the Arco de* Talei into the Via San 
Giovanni, we see a large piece of the first circuit of walls 
on the right, adjoining the Portone, blackened apparently 
by fire, and the tall Torre Talei. Opposite the tower 
is a shrine, with a ruined fresco by Mainardi. In the 
refectory of a former convent of Benedictine nuns (now 
the Palazzo Pratellesi) is a very Peruginesque fresco by 
Vincenzo Tamagni, representing the mystical marriage of 
St Catherine of Alexandria; it is dated 1528. On the 
left is the dismantled fagade of San Giovanni, a building 
of the eleventh century. Over the inside of the gate is 
a chapel built in 1601 to cover a venerated picture, but 
the outside of the Porta San Giovanni is still unspoiled 
thirteenth century architecture. 

A short way beyond the Porta San Giovanni is the 
former monastery of Monte Oliveto, founded in 1340 by 
Giovanni di Gualtiero Salvucci. In the lunette over the 
door of the church is a fresco of the Madonna between 
two white-robed monks, possibly by Tamagni. There is 
a Madonna of 1 502 in the church by Mainardi, and two 
Sienese pictures of the school of Lippo Memmi are in 
the sacristy. In the cloister is a frescoed Crucifixion by 
Benozzo Gozzoli, with St Jerome beating his breast and 
saying the Rosary at the foot of the Cross. Beyond 
Monte Oliveto, a road of olives and barley fields leads to 
the small hamlet of Santa Lucia. In its church are a 
fresco of the Crucifixion, with a little Dominican kneel- 
ing at the foot, by Pier Francesco, and a picture by Fra 

In the Town of the Beautiful Towers 

Paolino one of those compositions of Madonnas and 
Saints that he inherited from Fra Bartolommeo. 

Outside the Porta San Matteo is the convent of the 
Cappuccini. In its church is a Deposition from the Cross 
of 1591, ascribed to Jacopo Ligozzi of Verona. About 
two miles further on, with a splendid view over the 
valley, is Cellole, a Romanesque church of the first years 
of the thirteenth century. Attached to it was the Leper 
Hospital, where San Bartolo devoted his life to the 
stricken and where at last, himself overtaken by the fell 
disease, he became one with the rest and died. 

Behind the Collegiata, the way leads up to the Rocca 
di MontestafFoli, the fortress which the Florentines built 
after 1353, to maintain their hold upon the town. " The 
Commune of Florence," writes Matteo Villani, " because 
it wished to live more secure of the town of San Gimig- 
nano and to remove every cause of evil thinking from 
its townsfolk, began to have made and finished, without 
leaving off the work at their expense, a great and noble 
Rocca and fort, the which was raised above the Pieve, 
where was the church of the Friars Preachers. And 
that church it had rebuilt, larger and more beautiful, on 
the other side of the town lower down." a It was 
dismantled, two hundred years later, by Cosimo de* 
Medici. The greater part of it is now a garden, with 
the old well in the middle of it. Ivy and purple fox- 
gloves clothe the walls ; figs and olives and cherries grow 
where once the fant't of the Florentine captains lolled 
in their tight parti-coloured dress. The varied noises 
rising from the town mingle pleasantly with the humming 
of bees. The highest part commands a superb view over 
the valley of the Elsa bounded by the distant mountains, 
the terra itself below with, close at hand, the belle torri 
rising as it were in the face of their Florentine lords, and 
away northwards is Boccaccio-haunted Certaldo. One 
1 iii. 96. 

2 A 363 

The Story of Siena 

at least of Messer Giovanni's fair heroines came from 
San Gimignano the Isabetta whom English poets and 
English painters have surely made our own. Her father, 
it will be remembered, was a citizen of San Gimignano 
who had settled in Messina. 

San Gimignano must be seen on some day of festa and 
procession, such as that solemnity of Santa Fina which 
is kept once in every five years on the first Sunday in 
August, or, more easily perhaps, on the annual celebration 
of the Corpus Domini. On the afternoon of the vigil of 
the latter day, the children wander out over the fields of 
all the country round for miles, returning at nightfall 
with baskets full of red and yellow flowers (the colours 
of the Commune), to be scattered in the way on the 
morrow. Then on the morning of the Festa, after 
High Mass at the Duomo, the procession passes under 
the Tower of the Commune, through the streets, between 
those grim towers, beneath the massive dark portoni, 
round and round the piazze. First come the various 
companies and confraternities of the contado with their 
priests and banners, then the Cappuccini with the gigantic 
black crucifix, followed by the canons of the Collegiata 
and, under the baldacchino, the Proposto bearing the 
Blessed Sacrament. The procession is almost exclusively 
composed of men and boys, the women and girls con- 
tenting themselves with scattering the red and yellow 
flowers before it as it advances. The crowd follows 
from place to place, falling down in adoration as the 
Sacred Host comes past. The bandsmen, the one 
obtrusive note of municipal modernity, with their 
uniforms, their white plumes and tricoloured favours, 
only make themselves evident at intervals, and whatever 
there may be of tawdriness in the decorations and the 
finery is lost and transfigured in the glory of the Tuscan 
early summer. Old Latin hymns, the Church's heritage 
from the remotest Middle Ages, mingle and harmonise 


/;/ the Town of the Beautiful Towers 

with the clamour of the bells that clashed out a stormo 
while Guelfs and Ghibellines struggled madly together 
in these very streets through which the waving banners 
move to-day, that rang a gloria for the coming of Bishop 
Ranieri the peacemaker, or were swung to and fro by 
the hands of invisible Angels when the maiden Fina 
died. What more would the seeker for fresh sensations 
in Italy desire ? 



'"PH E following short note on Books and Authorities is 
not intended as a complete bibliography, but simply 
as a guide to further information upon the subjects dealt 
with in the present volume, and upon others which the 
limited space at my disposal has compelled me to treat 
somewhat cursorily and summarily. 


Orlando Malavolti, Historia de Fatti e Guerre dei Senesi, cost 
esterne come civili, seguite dalf origine della lor Citta, fino all' 
anno M.D. LV. Venice, 1599. 

Giovanni Antonio Pecci, Memorie storico-critiche della Citta di 
Siena. Four volumes. Siena, 1755-1760. Taking its 
start from La vita civile di Pandolfo Petrucci, this work 
tells the whole history of Siena from 1480 to 1559. 

The Cronica Senese in Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, vol. 
xv. Milan, 1729. A series of chronicles by Andrea Dei 
and Agnolo di Tura (1186-1352), Neri di Donato (1352- 
1382), and another erroneously called Agnolo di Tura 

Annali Senesi (1385-1422), in Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scrip- 
tores, vol. xix. Milan, 1731. 

La Cronica di Bindino da Travale (1315-1415), edit a a euro di 
Vittorio Lusini. Siena, 1900. Amusing reading, but of 
small historical importance. 

Diari scrittida Allegretto Allegretti delli cose senesi dclsuo tempo , in 
Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, vol. xxiii. Milan, 
1733. Referred to in the present work as Diari Senesi; 
they run from 1450 to 1480. 

Statuti Senesi; scritti in volgare ' secoli xiii. e xiv. t e pubblicati 
secondo i testi del R. Archivio di Stato in Siena, per cura di 
F. L. Polidori e L. Banchi. Three volumes. Bologna, 
1863, 1871, 1877. 

Bibliographical Appendix 

II Costituto del Comune di Siena, volgarizzato nel MCCCIX. e MCCCX. 
da Ranieri di Ghezzo Gangalandi, edito per euro di Luciano 
Banchi. Siena, 1874. 
Giuseppe Porri, Miscellanea Storica Senese. Siena, 1844. This 

contains : 
(l) // primo libra delle Istorie Seneti di Marcantonio Bellar- 


(i) La Sconfitta di Montaperti, from the chronicles of Domenico 

(3) La Sconfitta di Montaperti di Niccolo di Giovanni di Fran- 
cesco Ventura. (Written in 1442. The fullest and 
most picturesque account of the battle from the purely 
Sienese point of view.) 

(4) Cenni sulla Zecca Senese. 

Cesare Paoli, La Battaglia di Montaperti. Siena, 1869. 
// Libra di Montaperti, pubblicato per euro di C. Paoli. Flor- 
ence, 1889. 
Pasquale Villari, I primi due secoli della Storia di Firenze. Two 

volumes. Florence, 1893, 1894. 
Leonardo Bruni, Istoria Fiorentina tradotta in volgare da D. 

Acciaiuoli. (Containing the original Latin text and 

Acciaiuoli's translation.) Three volumes. Florence, 

Giuseppe Rondoni, Sena Vetus o il Comune di Siena dalle origini 

alia battaglia di Montaperti. Turin, 1892. 
Luciano Banchi, // Piccinino nello Stato di Siena e la Lega Italiea 

(1455-56) ; Ultime Relazioni dei Seneii con Papa Calisto III. 

In the Archivio Storico Ita/iano, series iv., vols. iv. and v. 

Florence, 1879, 1880. 
Pius II., Aeneae Silvii Piccolominaei Historia Rerun Friderici Tertii 

Imperatoris. Strasburg, 1685. 
Pius II., Pit Secundi Pont i fids Maximi Commentarii Rerum Manor a- 

bilium quae tern for/bus suis contigerunt. Rome, 1584. 
Ludwig Pastor, The History of the Popes from the Close of the 

Middle Ages. English translation. London, 1891-1900. 
Alessandro Lisini, Relazioni tra Cesare Borgia e la Repubblica Senese 

(conferenza, or lecture, to the R. Accademia dei Rozzi). 

Siena, 1900. 
Niccolo Machiavelli, Opere. The edition referred to in the 

present work is always that published in eight volumes 

at Florence (" Italia") in 1813. 
Pasquale Villari, Niccolo Machiavelli e i suoi tempi. Second 

edition in three volumes. Milan, 1895, 1896. 
Diario delle cose awenute in Siena dai 2O luglio 1550 at 28 giugno 

I 555> scr 'M d Alessandro Sozzini. 


Bibliographical Appendix 

La Cacciata delta Guardia Spagnola da Siena dfincerto autore, 155*- 
Racconti delle principali faxioni della guerra di Siena, scritti da Giro- 

lamo Roffia, 1554. These three contemporary works, 

with documents and appendices, are in the Archivio Storico 

Italiano, series i., vol. ii. Florence, 1842. 
Giornale dell' Assedio di Montalcino fatto dagli Spagnoli nel 1553 di 

autore anonimo. In the Archivio Storico Italiano. Appendix, 

vol. viii. Florence, 1850. 
Commentaires du Marechal Blaise de Montluc (edited by J. A. C. 

Buchon). In the Pantheon Litteraire. Paris, 1836. 
The Commentaries of Messire Blaise de Montluc, Marechal of France, 

Translated by C. Cotton. London, 1674. 
Q. G. Mondolfo, Pandolfo Petrucci : Signore di Siena. Siena, 

Giuseppe Rondoni, Siena nel secolo xvi. In La Vita Italiana nel 

Cincjuecento. Milan, 1894. 
Cesare Paoli, Article on Siena in the Encyclopedia Britannica, 

vol. xxii. Edinburgh, 1887. 


Miscellanea Storica Senese. Siena, from 1893 onwards. 
Butlettino Senese di Storia Patria. Siena. 

B. ART. 

J. A. Crowe and G. B. Cavalcaselle, A netu History of Painting 

in Italy from the second to the sixteenth century. Three volumes. 

London, 1864. (A new edition is announced in pre- 
paration by Mr Langton Douglas.) 
G. B. Cavalcaselle and J. A. Crowe, Storia della pittura in 

Italia dal Secolo II. al Secolo XVI. Eight volumes. Florence, 

Vasari, Le Vite de 1 piu eccellenti pittori, scultori ed architdtori ; con 

nuove annotazioni e comment! di Gaetano Milanesi. Eight 

volumes. Florence, 1878-1882. 
Documenti per la Storia del? Arte Senese, raccolti ed illustrati da 

Gaetano Milanesi. Three volumes. Siena, 1854-1856. 
Nuovi Documenti per la Storia dell 1 Arte Senese, raccolti da S. 

Borghesi e L. Banchi. Siena, 1898. 
Giovanni Morelli, Italian Painters, translated by C. J. Ffoulkes. 

Two volumes. London, i89z-93. 
Giovanni Morelli, Delia Pittura Italiana; studistorico-critici. (Same 

work in Italian.) Milan, 1897. 

Bibliographical Appendix 

Gustavo Frizzoni, L'Arte Italiana del Rinaicimento. Milan, 

Bernhard Berenson, The Central Italian Painters of the Renaissance. 

New York and London, 1897. 
C. C. Perkins, Historical Handbook of Italian Sculpture. New 

York, 1883. 
Marcel Reymond, La Sculpture Jlorentine. Four volumes. 

Florence, 1897-1901. 

Carl Cornelius, Jacopo aella Quercia. Halle, 1896. 
Alessandro Lisini, Notizie di Duccio Pittore e della sua celebre 

Ancona (estratto dal Bullettino Senese di Storia Pafria, anno v. 

fasc. i). Siena, 1898. 
Pietro Rossi, L'Arte Senese nel Quattrocento (conferenza, or 

lecture, to the R. Accademia dei Rozzi). Siena, 1899. 
Evelyn March Phillipps, Pintoricchio. London, 1901. 
Maud Cruttwell, Luca Signorelli. London, 1900. 
William Hey wood, A pictorial Chronicle of Siena. Siena, 1902. 
R. Hobart Cust, The Pavement Masters of Siena. London, 

G. W. Kitchin, Life of Pius II. (as illustrated in Pinturicchio's 

frescoes). Arundel Society. 
Catalogo della Galleria del R. Istituto Provinciate di Belle Arti in 

Siena. Siena, 1895. 


Girolamo Gigli, L'opere della Serafca Santa Caterina da Siena. 
Vol. i. La y'ita, translated by Bernardino Pecci from the 
Latin Leggetida of the Beato Raimondo da Capua (re- 
ferred to in the present work as Leggenda) ; the letter 
describing her life from Stefano Maconi to Tommaso 
Nacci Caffarini, and the letter describing her death from 
Barduccio Canigiani to Suor Caterina Petriboni. Siena, 
Vol. ii. and vol. iii. L'Epistole della Serajica Merging Santa 

Caterina. Lucca, 1721, and Siena, 1713. 
Vol. iv. // Dialogo della Serafica Vcrgine, and her minor works. 

Siena, 1707. 

Vol. V. Supplimento alia vulgata le^genda di Santa Caterina 
da Siena, by Tommaso Nacci Caffarini, translated by 
Amb. Ansano Tantucci. Lucca, 1754. 

Le Lettere di Santa Caterina da Siena ridotte a miglior lezione, con 
proemio e note Ji Niccolo Tommaseo. Four volumes. 
Florence, 1860. (In quoting from the letters in the 


Bibliographical Appendix 

present work, I have always adopted the text and the 
numeration of this edition. ) 

Leggenda minore di Santa Caterina da Siena e Letter e del suoiDiscepoli, 
scritture inedite fubblicate da Francesco Grottanelli. The 
Leggenda minore was written in Latin by Tommaso Nacci 
Caffarini and translated into Italian by Stefano Maconi 
Bologna, 1868. 

Alfonso Capecelatro, Storla di Santa Caterina da Siena. Fourth 
edition. Siena, 1878. 

Augusta T. Drane, The History of St Catherine of Siena and her 
Companions, with a translation of her treatise on Con- 
summate Perfection. Two volumes. London, 1899. 

F. Alessio, Storia di San Bernardino e del suo tempo, Mondovi, 

P. M. Oraffi, Vita ael Beato Bernardo Tolomei. Venice, 1650. 

Silvano Razzi, Vite at Santi e Beati Toscani. Florence, 1593- 

Gaspero Olmi, I Senesi cfuna volta. Siena, 1889. 


Siena e il suo Territorio. Siena, 1862. 

E. A. Brigidi, La Nuova Guida di Siena e dei tuoi aintorni. Siena, 

1901, etc. 
Girolamo Gigli, Diario Senese, in cut si vsggono alia giornata tutti gli 

awenimenti piii ragguaraevoli sfettanti si allo Spirituale si al 

Temporale aella Citta e Stato di Siena. Two volumes. Lucca, 


Girolamo Gigli, La citta diletta di Maria. Rome, 1716. 
Giovanni Antonio Pecci, Storia del Vescovaao della citta di Siena. 

Lucca, 1748. 
Scipione Bargagli, I Trattenimenti dove da vaghe donne e da giovani 

huomini rappresentati sono honesti e dilette voli giuochi , narrate novei/t, 

e cantate alcvne amorose canzonette. Venice, 1587. 
Giuseppe Rondoni, Tradizioni popolari e leggende di un comune 

medioevale e ael suo contado. Florence, 1886. 
Lodovico Zdekauer, Lo Studio di Siena nel Rinascimento. Milan, 

Lodovico Zdekauer, // Mercante Senese nel Ducento. (A lecture 

with an Appendix of Documents.) Siena, 1900. 
Vittorio Lusini, Storia aella Basilica di San Francesco in Siena. 

Siena, 1894. 
Vittorio Lusini, II San Giovanni di Sienj. Florence, 1901. 


Bibliographical Appendix 

Antonio Canestrelli, VAbbazla di San Ga/gano; monografia 

storico-artistica. Florence, 1896. 
Bartolommeo Aquarone, Dante in Siena : ovvero accenni nclla Divina 

Commedia a cose icnesi. Siena, 1865* 
Alessandro d'Ancona, Cecco Anglolieri da Siena. In Studi di 

Critica e Star ia Letter aria. Bologna, 1880. 
Giosue Carducci, Rime di M. Cino da Pi*toia e dfaltri del secolo 

XIV. Florence, 1862. 
Lt Rime di Folgore da San Gimignano e di Cene da la Chitarra 

tfArezxO) nuovamente pubblicate da Giulio Navone. Bologna, 

Giuseppe Errico, Folgore da San Gimignano e la Brigata Spen- 

aereccia. Naples, 1895. 
John Addingf.on Symonds, Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece. 

Third volume contains studies on Siena, Folgore, Monte 

Oliveto, and Montepulciano. London, 1898. 
Ambrogio Landucci, Sacra Leccetana Selva, doe origine e progressi 

delf antico e venerabile Eremo e Congreaatione di Lecceto in 

Toscana. Rome, 1657. 
Fra Filippo Agazzari, Gli Assempri, testo di lingua inedito pubblicato 

percuradi?. C. Carpellini. Siena, 1864. 
William Heywood, Our Lady of August and the Palio of Siena. 

Siena, 1899. 
Antonio Marenduzzo, Veglie e Trattenimenti Senesi nella seconda 

meta ael secolo XVI. Trani, 1901. 
Montgomery Carmichael, In Tuscany. Contains chapter on 

the Spanish Praesidia. London, 1901. 
Luciano Banchi, I porti delta Maremma Senese duranic la Refubblica. 

In the Archivio Storico Italiano, series iii., vols. x., xi., xii. 

Florence, 1869-1871. 


Giovanni Francesco Coppi, Annali, memorie ed huomini illustri di 

San Gimignano. Florence, 1695. 
Luigi Pecori, Storia delta Terra di San Gimignano. Florence, 

Matteo Villani, Istorie Florentine (in continuation of those of his 
brother Giovanni). In Muratori, Return Italicarum Scriptores. 
Vol. xiv. Milan, 1729; and elsewhere. 

Cronachetta di San Gimignano comfosta da Fra Matteo Ciaccheri 
Fiorentino, Vanno MCCCLV. Bologna, 1865. Fra Matteo 
was a native of San Gimignano ; he calls himself a 
Florentine because, when he wrote, all his fellow-towns- 
men had become Florentine citizens. 


Bibliographical Appendix 

Gino Capponi, Storla della Repubblica dl Firenze. Appendix to 

vol. i. Florence, 1878. 
Ugo Nomi V. Pesciolini, Le Glorie della Terra di San Gimignano. 

Siena, 1900. 
Natale Baldoria, Monument! Artistici in San Gimignano. Article 

in the Archivio Storico delf Arte for 1890. Rome, 1890. 
Bernhard Berenson, The Florentine Painters of the Renaissance 

Second Edition. New York, 1900. 
Alfredo Tognetti, Gttida di San Gimignano. Florence, 1899. 



Abati, Bocca degli, Florentine 
traitor at Montaperti, 15. 

Accona, desert of, 315, 316. 

Agazzari, Fra Filippo, author of 
the Assempri, 23, 305-311. 

Agostino di Giovanni, architect and 
sculptor (died in 1350), 99, 278, 
284, 285. 

Agnolo di Tura (" Grasso")t chron- 
icler, his description of the pes- 
tilence, 25, 26 ; quoted, 127. 

Agnolo di Ventura, architect (died 
in 1348), 09, 278, 284. 

ArgrfgaiL Monte degli, 75. 

Albany, Duke of (John Stuart), 

210, 211. 

Albertinelli, Mariotto, painter (1474- 
1515), 124. 

Albizzeschi, Bernardino. See Ber- 

Aldobrandeschi, Counts of Santa 
Fiora, 7, 14, 15. 

Airoldi, Fra Domenico, Abbot of 
Monte Oliveto, 317, 318, 320. 

Alexander III., Pope (Orlando 
Bandinelli), his pontificate, 5 ; 
consecrates the older Duomo, 6 ; 
frescoes depicting his life, 143, 
144 ; honoured by modern Siena, 
144 ; statue of in the Duomo, 160. 

IV., Pope (Rinaldo Conti), 

unites the Augustinian hermits 
into one order, 305. 

VI., Pope (Roderigo Borgia), 

threatens the liberty of Siena, 86; 
recalls Cesare, 89; dies, 90 ; patron 
of Pinturicchio, 171 ; portraits of, 

VII., Pope (Fabio Chigi), 

character of, 160. 

Allegretti, Allegretto di Nanni, 
diarist, quoted 74, 75; describes 
the reconciliation of Noveschi and 
Popolani in the Duomo, 78, 79 ; 
quoted 129, 130, 157 (note) ; de- 
scribes a festa in the Via del Capi- 

tano, 257 ; referred to, 267 (note) ; 

his account of the reducing the 

Monti to one and the presentation 

of the keys to the Madonna, 272- 

Altoviti, Bartolommeo, Florentine 

captain in San Gimignano, 338. 
Alviano, Bartolommeo, condottiere, 

Amerighi, Amerigo, plots the 

liberation of Siena, 224. 

Marcantonio, ambassador to 

the Emperor, 219. 

Andrea di Vanni, painter (end of 
Trecento), 107, 206, 207, 208 
(note), 296. 

Andrea Pisano (1270-1348), sculptor 
and architect, referred to, 99, 


Anguillara, Conte Virginio dell', 
papal condottiere, 212,213; routed 
outside Porta Camollia, 214. 

Ansanus, St, Apostle of Siena, 105, 
139, 162, 179, 187, 261, 305. 

Andrea Dei, 177. 

Aragona, Alfonso da, Duke of 
Calabria (afterwards King of 
Naples), attempts to obtain the 
lordship of Siena, 74, 75; his 
victory at Poggio Imperiale, 138 ; 
referred to, 272, 314. 

Eleonora da (afterwards 

Duchess of Ferrara), 254, 257. 

Arbia, the, 17, 314. 

Ardinghelli, family of the, lead the 
Guelfs of San Gimignano, 328, 
329, 331 ; their factious conduct, 
336, 337 ; feud with the Salvucci, 
337) 338 5 get possession of San 
Gimignano, 338; forced to sur- 
render to the Florentines, 339; 
urge complete submission to 
Florence, 340; their palace, 355. 

Francesco degli, leads an 

attack upon San Gimignano, 337. 

Primerano degli, attacks San 

Gimignano, 337; judicial murder 
of, 338, 35- 


General Index 

Ardinghelli, Rossellino degli, fined, 
337 ; judicial murder of, 338, 352. 

Scolaio degli, arbitrates be- 
tween the clergy and people of 
San Gimignano, 352. 

Aringhieri, Alberto, 156, 161, 212. 

Luzio, executed, 212. 

Niccol6, monument to, 283. 

Arras, Count of, at Montaperti, 14, 

As mate, 130, 131. 

Athens, Duke of (Walter de Brienne), 
24, 336, 337- 

Avila, Don Franzese de, commands 
Spanish garrison in Siena, 225, 

Augustine, St., his legendary visit 
to Lecceto, 305 ; Gozzoli's frescoes 
concerning him, 358, 359. 

Baglioni, Andrea, his defence of 

Monticchiello, 228. 
Giampaolo, his plot against 

Cesare Borgia, 86; allied with 

Pandolfo Petrucci, 87-90. 

Qreste, condottiere, 93. 

Balducci, Matteo, painter (early 

Cinquecento), 118, 119, 123, 175, 

Baliet, Collegia di, institution of, 
70; in the hands of the Popolani, 
75 ; in those of the Noveschi, 79 ; 
nominally divided among the 
three Monti, 85 ; subservient to 
Pandolfo, 85 ; decrees his banish- 
ment, 88 ; recalls him, 89, 90; 
ruled by Raffaello, 94 ; the assas- 
sination of Giberto da Correggio 
by, 144-146 ; various changes in 
and measures of, 211,213, 2I 8; sub- 
servient to Don Diego, 219, 220; 
abolished, 227 ; appointed by 
Cosimo de' Medici, 244. 

Balzann, legend of origin of the, i, 2. 

Bandinelli, Orlando. See Alexander 
III., Pope. 

Sozzo, 30. 

Bandini, Sallustio, father of Fran- 
cesco and Mario, 283. 

Bandini (Piccolomini), Francesco, 
Archbishop of Siena, 168 ; re- 
lations with Michelangelo, 170 ; 
sent to the Emperor, 219 ; escapes 
to Montalcino, 236, 239. 


andini (Piccolomini), Mario, 
heads the rising against Fabio 
Petrucci, 98, 210 ; a leader 
of the Libertini, 210, 211 ; 
calls the people to arms against 
Alessandro Bichi, 211 ; captures 
the papal artillery at the Battle of 
Camellia, 214; heads the opposi- 
tion to the Noveschi, 216 ; arrested 
by Ferrante Gonzaga, 217 ; re- 
bukes the Bardotti, 217; alluded 
to, 210 ; leads the exodus to 
Montalcino, 242 ; maintains the 
form of the Sienese Republic at 
Montalcino, 244; and dies there, 244. 

Bardotti, the, 217, 218. 

Barbarossa. See Frederick I., 

Bargagli, Marino, conspirator, 70. 
Scipione, novelist, 241, 252, 

253, 254, 290, 291. 
ianh, A 

Barili, Antonio, sculptor (died 1516), 
102, 103, 118, 147, 167, 281. 

Giovanni, sculptor (died 

1529), 102, 103, 167. 

Barna, painter (died 1380), 107 ; his 
work at San Gimignano, 346. 

Baroncetti, Conspiracy of the, in 
San Gimignano, 335, 336. 

Bartolp, San (Buonpedoni) of San 
Gimignano, his life, 333 ; pictures 
f| 347 35 his shrine, 356 ; at 
Cellole, 363. 

Bartolo di Fredi, painter (died 
1410), his works in Siena, 107 ; at 
San Gimignano, 345, 346, 357. 

Bazzi, Giovanni Antonio (" II 
Spdoma"), painter, (1477-1549), 
his life and work, 115, 116 ; his 
pictures in the Istituto di Belle 
Arti, 118, 120, 124 ; frescoes in the 
Palazzo de' Signori, 135, 139, 142, 
143, 147, 148 ; Holy Family under 
the Spedale, 188 ; his work in San 
Domenico, 203, 204, 205, 206 ; 
other pictures and frescoes by him 
in Siena, 262, 265, 282 ; his frescoes 
at Monte Oliveto Maggiore, 317- 

Sto, 321, 322 ; works at San 
imignano, 343, 352, 354. 
Beccafumi, Domenico (di Giacomo 
di Pace), painter and sculptor 
(1486-1550), 116 ; his life and 
character, 117 ; his pictures in the 
Istituto di Belle Arti, 119, 123, 
124 ; frescoes in the Sala di 
Concistoro 143 ; work on the 

General Index 

pavement of the Duomo, 158, 
159; other work in the Duomo 
and elsewhere, 167, 179, 248, 262, 
282, 293. 

Beccafumi, Lorenzo, one of the dele- 
gates from Siena to Cesare Borgia, 
89; his patronage of Domenico, 117. 

Belcaro, 302-304. 

Bellanti, family of the, lead the 
Npveschi, 75, 76, 80; their con- 
spiracy against Pandolfo Petrucci, 
91 ; return to Siena, 94 ; alleged 
plot against Raffaello Petrucci, 
97 ; excluded from the Govern- 
ment, 216. 

Andrea di Naddino, con- 
verted by St Catherine, 46. 

Ghino di Pietro, treacherous 

citizen, 70, 112; his tavoletta, 

Giulio di Leonardo, his plot 

against Pandolfo, 91 ; is murdered 
by Francesco Petrucci, 97. 

Guidone di Leonardo, put to 

death by Raffaello Petrucci, 97. 

Leonardo, plots for the return 

of the Noveschi, 77 ; a leading 
spirit in the party, 80 ; begins to 
resent the Petruccian supremacy, 
85 ; his letter to Bernardino 
Borghesi, 85, 86 ; intrigues against 
Pandolfo, 88 ; one of the Sienese 
delegates to Cesare Borgia, 89 ; 
plots against Pandolfo 's life and 
is declared a rebel, 91 ; returns to 
Siena with Raffaello Petrucci, 94 ; 
is beheaded, 97. 

Luzio, occupies Monte- 

reggioni for the Noveschi, 76 ; 
a leading spirit in the new regime, 
80 ; routs the Riformatori and 
Popolani, 82 ; is deprived of the 
command of the mercenaries, 83; 
plots against the Noveschi and is 
banished, 83 ; his professed zeal 
for the liberty of his country, 85, 
86 ; is murdered by Pandolfo, 85, 
86, 92. 

Petrino, 91. 

Benincasa, Caterina. See Catherine, 


Giacomo, 43, 45. 

Lapa, 43, 57, 66. 

Lisa (Cplombini), 47. 

Benvenuto di Giovanni, painter 

(1436-1518), 109, 119, 120; 

his designs for the pavement of 

the Duomo, 157, 158 ; other works 
by him, 188, 203. 

Benedetti, Giovanni Maria, Sienese 
patriot, 224. 

Benzi, family of the, 205. 

Antonio, canon, 222 (note). 

Bernardino, San (Albizzeschi), his 
life and work, 71, 73 ; portraits of, 
by Vecchietta and Sano di Pietro, 
no, 113; his sermons to the 
Sienese, 128, 129, 132 ; pictures 
of, 130, 143, 144, 167 ; his work 
for the plague - stricken, 188 ; 
oratory to his honour, 285 ; founds 
the Osservanza, 298 ; contemporary 
portrait of, 300 ; his cell, 300. 

Bernardino da Asti, Fra, preaches 
in the Piazza. San Martino, 276. 

Bernini, Giovanni Lorenzo, sculptor 
and architect (1598-1680), 154. 

Bicchemo.) Cctmarlingo e quattro 
Proweditori di, 6, 9, 21, 27, 269, 

Bicchema, Tavolette di, 269-275. 

Bichi, family of the, leaders of the 
Noveschi, 80, 216. 

Alessandro, adheres to Fabio 

Petrucci, 98 ; becomes the head of 
the Noveschi, 210; attempts to 
make himself tyrant of Siena, 
21 1 ; is assassinated by the 
Libertini, 211 ; his palace, 289. 

Antonio, Sienese commissary 

to Montepulciano, 81, 83. 

Antonio Maria, banished, 212. 

Margherita. See Buonsignori. 

Bigozzi, Niccolo dei, at Montaperti, 


Bindino da Travale, quoted, 24. 
Boccaccio, Giovanni, 25, 131, 132, 

324, 363, 364. 
Bonizzelh, Giovanni Andrea, put 

to death, 226. 
Bordone, Paris, Venetian painter, 

(cinquecento), 124. 
Borghesi, family, leaders of the 

Noveschi, 75, 80, 216. 
Bernardino di Niccol6, 85, 


Camillo. See Paul V., Pope. 

Giovanni, 253. 

Niccol6, organises the return 

of the Noveschi from exile, 76 ; 
his character, 80 ; ambassador 
from Siena to Charles VIII. of 
France, 81 ; leads the Noveschi 
against the Popolani and Riforma- 


General Index 

against him, 83 ; his murder and 
death, 85 ; Leonardo Bellanti's 
letter about, 85, 86 j scene of his 
murder, 253 ; inscription on the 
Porta Rom ana ascribed to him, 
Borghesi, Pietro (the elder), 82. 

Pietro (the younger), mur- 
dered, 216. 

Borgia, Alfonso. See Calixtus III., 

Cesare, his designs, 86 ; 

crushes the conspiracy at Sini- 
gaglia, 86, 87 ; his enterprise 
against Siena, 87-89 ; is recalled 
by the Pope, 89 ; wins the Palio, 
131 (note) ; letter of in the 
Archivio di Stato, 268. 

Roderigo. See Alexander 

VI , Pope. 

Botticelli, Sandro, painter, (1447- 
1510), 251, 354. 

Brandano, hermit, 223 ; assails Don 
Diego, 224 ; mocks the Cardinal 
Ippolito, 228 ; discovers the Mad- 
onna of Provenzano, 283 ; sup- 
posed portrait of, 284. 

Brescianmo, Andrea (Piccinelli) del, 
painter, (early sixteenth century), 
117, 123, 177, 251, 285.^ 

Bruco, Compagnia del, insurrection 
of, 37-40 

Bruni, Leonardo, Florentine his- 
torian, 15, 16 (note). 

Bulgarini, the, family of Noveschi, 

Buonaccorsi, Filippo (Callimaco), 

Buoninsegni, Bernardino, ambassa- 
dor from Montalcino, 244. 

Buonsignori, Annibale, 244. 

Margherita, her visions acted 

upon by the Republic, 213. 

Cacciaconti, Aldobrandino di Guido, 
leads the people against the nobles, 
8 ; is made Podesta, 9. 

Caffarini, Fra Tommaso Nacci, 
friend and biographer of St Cathe- 
rine, 47, 205. 

Calixtus III., Pope (Alfonso Borgia), 
allied with Siena, 70 : idealised 
portrait of, by Sano di Pietro, 

112 ; takes Siena under his pro- 
tection, 112, 113 ; condones the 
assassination of Giberto da Cor- 
regio, 146, 147 ; in a fresco by 
Pinturicchio, 173, 174; hiscrusad 
ing zeal recorded in a Tavoletta di 
Gabella, 270, 271. 

Camarlingo. See Biccherna and 

Campana, General Council of the, 
9, and pdssiin. 

Canigiani, Barduccio, disciple and 
secretary of St Catherine, 61, 62, 
66, 292. 

Camellia, Battle of, 213-215 ; referred 
to, 216, 221 : in a Tavoletta di 
Gabella, 374 : votive pictures 
of, in San Martino and San Gia- 
como di Salicotto, 276, 277. 

Casolani, Alessandro, painter and 
architect, 124, 197. 

Cassioli, Amos, painter, 125, 251. 

Calabria, Duke of. See Alfonso and 

Duchess of (Ippolita Maria 

Sforza), 129. 

Caterina of Salicotlo, the " two- 
handed sword," 93. 

Catherine, Saint (Caterina Benin- 
casa), her birth and childhood, 
43; takes the Dominican habit, 
43, 44 ; her early visions and 
mystical marriage, 44; her family 
life, 45 ; saves her brothers' lives, 
45 ; her mystical change of heart 
and vision of the spirit world, 46 ; 
her active work in the city, 46, 47 ; 
her disciples, 47, 48 : her account 
of the execution of Niccolp di 
Toldo, 48-50 ; becomes a political 
power, 50 ; reconciles the Salim- 
beni, 50 ; her letters and her 
philosophy of life, 51 ; letters to 
the Legate of Bologna and to 
Bernab6 Visconti, 51 ; to Beatrice 
della Scala, 51, 52; on the corrup- 
tion of the Church, 52 ; supports 
the proposed Crusade and attempts 
to rid Italy of the free companies, 
52 ; at Pisa, 52, 53 ; intervenes in 
the war between Tuscany and the 
Pope, 54; her letters to Gregory 
XI., 54, 55 ; to the Signoria of 
Florence, 55, 56 ; at Florence and 
at Avignon, 56, 57 ; persuades the 
Pope to return to Rome, 57 ; at 
Genoa, 57 ; letters to Lapa, 


General Index 

Giovanna Maconi and the Pope, 
57, 58 ; her rupture with Gregory 
XL, 58, 59 ; her troubles, 59 ; 
at Florence for peace, 59 ; ad- 
dresses Urban, 59 ; is assailed by 
the Ciompi, 60 ; letters to Frate 
Raimondo and her disciples at 
Siena, 60 ; her literary work, 
61 ; her attitude towards Urban 
VI. 62 ; preaches to the Cardi- 
nals, 63 ; her passionate support 
of Urban against Clement, 63, 64 ; 
rebukes Frate Raimondo, 64 ; 
works with the Roman Republic, 
64 ; last political letters, 64, 65 ; 
saves Urban from the people, 65 ; 
her vision of the Navicella, 65 ; 
last farewell to Raimondo, 66 ; 
her death, 66 ; Niccol6 Borghesi's 
devotion to her, 85 ; pictures of 
her, 114, 118, 119, 120, 123, 139; 
canonisation of by Pius II., 174; 
her relations with the Disciplinati, 
187 ; unhistorical historical picture 
of her, 188; site of her first 
vision, 189, 190 ; her " Oratorio 
in Fontebranda," 191 ; its his- 
tory, 191, 192 ; statues of her by 
Urbano da Cortona and Neroccio, 
192, 195 ; frescoed scenes of her 
life in her house, 195, 196 ; her cell 
and relics, 196; the two upper 
oratories in her house, 196, 197 ; 
the legend of the reception of the 
Stigmata, 197, 198; bust of her 
by Cozzarelli, 198 ; her festa in 
the Contrada, 198, 201 ; her 
shrine in San Domenico, 204, 205 ; 
her relics, 206 ; in the Cappella 
delle Volte, 206-208 ; her portrait 
by Andrea di Vanni, 206, 207 ; 
reflections on her mysticism, 209 ; 
heals a feud in San Cristofano, 
289 ; her letters in the Biblioteca 
Comunale, 292 ; at Belcaro, 303 ; 
relations with the Augustinian 
hermits of Lecceto, 305, 308, 309 ; 
her praises sung by the papal 
choristers to the monks of Monte 
Oliveto, 323. 

Ceccolini, Cerreto, 17, 251. 

Cerretani, family of the, 37, 40. 

Ildebrando, 89. 

Cellino di Nese, sculptor (later 
Trecento), 99. 

Charlemagne, alleged privileges 
granted by him to Siena, 2. 

Charles I., King of Naples (Charles 
the Elder of Anjou), 18, 20, 331. 

1 1 1 ., King of Naples (Charles 

of Durazzo), 65, 70. 

IV., Roman Emperor (Charles 

of Luxemburg), 26 ; overturns the 
government of the Nine, 27, 28 ; 
negotiations with the Sienese, 30, 
31 ; again at Siena, 32, 33 ; his 
defeat and humiliation, 33, 34, 37. 

V., Roman Emperor and 

King of Spain, takes Siena under 
his protection, 211 ; sends Spanish 
governors and soldiers, 216 ; visits 
Siena, 218; his ministers and 
governors, 218, 219 ; intends to 
build a citadel, 220, 221 ; his re- 
ception of the Sienese am- 
bassadors, 222 ; referred to, 226. 
227, 232, 241 ; Siena capitulates 
to, 242 ; invests his son, Philip II., 
with Siena, 243. 

VIII., King of France, 81, 

82, 294, 295. 

of Anjou, Duke of Calabria, 

Chi^i, Fabio. See Alexander VII., 


Sigismondo, 91. 

Ciaccheri, Fra Matteo, chronicler 

of San Gimignano, 335, 336, 339, 

340, 344, 353. 
Cino, Cardinal Giovanni Battista 

See Innocent VIII., Pope. 
Cini, Giovanni di Lorenzo, painter 

(Cinquecento), 274, 276, 277. 
Clement VII., Pope (Giulio de' 

Medici), aids Fabio Petrucci in 

his designs on Siena, 98 ; supports 

Alessandro Bichi, 210; takes up 

the cause of the Noveschi and 

declares war on Siena, 212, 213 ; 

his army routed, 214, 215. 
Colle di Val d'Elsa, battle of, 19, 20. 
Colombini, Beato Giovanni, in. 
Colpnna, Giulio, condottiere of the 

Sienese, 214. 
Correggio, Giberto da, his treachery, 

70, 112; put to death by the 

Balia, 144-146. 
Cozzarelli, Giacomo, architect and 

sculptor (1453-1515), 102, 248, 262, 

282, 299, 300. 
, Guidoccio, painter (1450 

1516), 114, 119, 157, 274- 
Coppi, G. A., chronicler of San 

Gimignano, 330. 


General Index 


Dante, on the battle of Montaperti, 
16 ; on Provenzano Salvani, 19, 
131, 283 ; on the battle of Colle and 
Sapia, 20 ; other references of his 
to Sienese matters, 21, 22, 23 ; 
F>occaccio's account of him in the 
Campo, 131, 132 ; referred to, 139, 
141, 149 ; the decorations and 
pavement of the Duomo illustrated 
from the De Monarchic*, and the 
Divina Comtnedia, 154, 155, 156; 
referred to, 165, 177, 178 ; his story 
of La Pia, 258 ; his allusion to the 
Diana, 262 (and note) ; collection 
of documents illustrating his works, 
268, 269 ; references to, 300, 305 ; 
his embassy to San Gimignano, 
333' 334 hi* Inferno contrasted 
with that of Taddeo di Bartolo, 
346, 347 ; in the Council Chamber 
of San Gimignano, 352 ; references 
to* 355' 359- 

Dodicini, the (Monte de' Dodici, 
Popolani of the Middle Number), 
obtain the chief authority in the 
Republic, 28 ; their administration, 
28-30 ; their overthrow, 30, 31 ; 
make common cause with the 
Salimbeni, 31, 32, 33, 37 ; join in 
the massacre of the Costa d'Ovile, 
and attempt to capture the Palazzo, 
39 ; are excluded from the govern- 
ment, 40; rise against the Rifor- 
matori, 41 ; share in the new 
regime, 67 ; are expelled again, 
68 ; again readmitted to the 
government, 75 ; their factious 
conduct, 75, 86 ; their Monte 
united to that of the Gentiluomini, 
79 ; take part with the Noveschi, 
82 ; act of vandalism perpetrated 
by them, 127 ; included in the 
Monte del Popolo, 211 ; in that 
of the Gentiluomini, 216. 

Diana, the, 262. 

Diego. See Hurtado de Mendoza. 

Domenico di Bartolo, painter (extant 
works dating from 1433 to 1443), 
109 ; his picture in the Istituto 
di Belle Arti, 109, no; his work 
on the pavement of the Duomo, 
158; his frescoes in the Spedale, 

Domenico di Niccoli del Coro, 
sculptor (died about 1450), 102; 

his choir stalls in the Palazzo Pub- 
blico, 142 ; his work on the pave- 
ment of the Duomo, 158. 

Donatello (Donate di Niccoli di 
Betto Bardi), sculptor (1386-1466), 
joi ; his works in the Duomo, 161, 
162 ; a Madonna ascribed to him, 
176 ; his work on the Font of the 
Baptistery, 181, 182. 

Doria, Andrea, occupies Talamone, 

Duccio di Buoninsegna, painter (born 
before 1260, died after June 1313), 
23 ; his work and period of activity, 
103 (and note) ; his pictures in the 
Istituto di Belle Arti, 105 ; erro- 
neous tradition that he designed 
the pavement of the Duomo, 154 ; 
referred to, 167 ; his famous An- 
cona now in the Opera del Duomo, 
177-179; picture ascribed to him, 
188 ; his house, 261 ; a work of his 
no longer in Siena, 301 ; referred 
to, 346. 

Dupre, Giovanni, modern Sienese 
sculptor, 125, 265, 266. 

Dominic, St, 201. 

Este, Ercole I. da, second Duke ol 
Ferrara, 138, 234, 257. 

Ercole 1 1. da, fourth Duke of 

Ferrara, 242. 

Ippolito II. da, Cardinal of 

Ferrara, governs Siena in the name 
of France, 227, 228, 232, 233, 257. 
Eleonora d'Aragona da. See 

Eugenio, Sant'," H Monastero," 301. 
Eusebio di San Giorgio, painter, 

assistant of Pinturicchio, 174. 


Faggiuola, Uguccione della, his vic- 
tory at Montecatini, 24, 335 ; 
Folgore's sonnet concerning him, 

Fantozzo, Giovanni Battista, leader 

of the republican plot against 

Alessandro Bichi, 211. 
Farinata. See Uberti. 
Fausta, Livia, praised by Montluc, 

2 34-. 
Federighi, Antonio, architect and 

sculptor (died about 1480), 101 ; 


General Index 

his work on the Chapel of the 
Campo, 135 ; on the pavement of 
the Duomo, 157, 158 ; other works 
of his in the Duomo, 159, 160, 161; 
a Moses ascribed to him, 176 ; a 
graffito design of his for the Bap- 
tistery, 1 8 1 ; worked on the Oratory 
of St Catherine in Fontehranda, 
192 ; on the Loggia di Mercanzia, 
247 ; on the Palazzo delle Papesse, 
252 ; built the Loggia del Papa, 
275 ; his work at the chapel of the 
Palazzo dei Diavoli, 295. 

Ferraccio, leader of the populace, 

Ferrante of Aragon, King of Naples, 

Filippo, Fra. See Agazzari. 

Fina, Santa (Fina de' Ciardi of San 
Gimignano), her life, 329, 330; 
her shrine in the Collegiata of San 
Gimignano, 348, 349 ; other pic- 
tures of her, 350, 353, 360 ; the 
Spedale in her honour, 360, 361. 

Flete, William, Augustinian hermit, 
305, 308. 

Florence, wars of, with Siena, 6-9, 
1 1 -i 8, 20; alliance of, with Siena, 
20 ; makes peace between the 
Sienese nobles and people, 37 ; 
stimulates opposition to the Ri- 
formatori, 41 ; leads the war of 
the Tuscan Republics against the 
Pope Gregory XL, 53-56, 59 ; 
wars with Siena concerning Mon- 
tepulciano, 67 ; other wars with 
Siena, 74, 82, 83; aids the 
Petrucci, 89, 94, 98; supports 
Alessandro Bichi, 210, 211 ; re- 
news hostilities with Siena in 
union with Clement VII., 212- 
215 ; the last war between her and 
Siena, 231-243 ; relations with 
San Gimignano, 327, 331, 333, 334, 

Fogl . 
of War in Siena, 136, 137. 

Folcacchieri, Folcacchiero dei, 
poet, 9. 

Folgore da San Gimignano, poet, 
22 ; his corona of sonnets for the 
months of the year, 22, 23; his 
sonnet on a knight's vigil, 161 ; his 
brigata of young nobles, 292, 293 ; 
his corona of sonnets for the days 
of the week, 334, 335 ; sonnet on 

the Guelf defeat at Montecatin ; 

Fonte, Fra Tommaso della, follower 

of St Catherine, 46, 47. 
Forestani, Simone di Ser Dino, poet, 

67, 68. 
Forteguerri, family of the, 25, 27 ; 

their tower and palace, 252, 253. 
Vittoria. See Piccolomini. 

a lady of the family praised 

by Montluc, 234. 

Fortini, Pietro. novelist, 115, 283, 

293, 294 (and note). 
Franchi, Alessandro, modernSienese 

painter, 153, 159, 195. 
Francis, St, his visit to Lecceto, 

305 ; and passim. 
Frederick I., Roman Emperor 

(Hohenstauffen), 5, 143, 144. 

II., Roman Emperor 

(Hohenstauffen), 9. 

III., Roman Emperor 

(Hapsburg), 72, 172, 173, 295. 

Fungai, Bernardino, painter (1460- 
1516), 114 ; works by him in the 
Istituto di Belle Arti, 119, 120 ; 
and elsewhere in Siena, 188, 196, 
197, 202, 274, 277, 294. 

Fusina, Andrea, sculptor (latter part 
of the Quattrocento.), work on the 
Piccolomini altar of the Duomo, 

Francesco di Giorgio Martini, archi- 
tect, sculptor and painter (1439- 
1502), 102, 109 ; pictures in the Is- 
tituto di Belle Arti, 114, 119 ; altar- 
piece by him in San Domenico, 
202 ; Tavolette of Biccherna and 
Gabella ascribed to him, 271, 272 ; 
the Palazzo Bandini and the 
Madonna delle Nevi probably 
built by him, 283, 202 ; picture by 
him at Sant' Eugenio, 301. 

Gabella, Camarlingo e Rsecutori di, 

, Tavolette e tavole di, 269- 

Gaddi, Taddeo, painter (circa 1300- 

1366), picture by him at Siena, 

Galgano, Abbazia di San, 313 ; 

palace in Siena that belonged to 

the monks of, 278. 



General Index 

Galganus, St (Galgano Guidotti), 
105, 106, 313. 

Gallerani, the Beato Andrea, 105. 

Gano da Siena, sculptor (middle of 
fourteenth century), 134, 162. 

Garcia de Toledo, imperialist 
general, 228, 231. 

Genga, Girolamo, painter (1476- 
1551), 115 ; works by him in Siena, 
118, 123, 176. 

Gentiluomini, Monte dei, 7, 21 ; 
they temporarily recover posses- 
sion of the State, 31 ; papal inter- 
vention on behalf of, 73 ; later 
share in government, 79, 216, and 

Ghiberti, Lorenzo, sculptor (1378- 
1455), loo, 101 ; quoted on Duccio, 
103; on other Sienese painters, 
104 ; his story of the Venus of 
Lysippus, 127 ; his praise of 
Simone Martini, 136; his bronze 
bas-reliefs on the Font of the 
Baptistery of Siena, 181, 182. 

Ghirlandaio, Domenico, painter 
(1449-1494), his works in San 
Gimignano, 348, 349, 351. 

Giacomo della Quercia. See 

Giacomo di Mino Pellicciaio, painter 
(died in 1396), 107, 108 ; designed 
the facade of the Baptistery, 176, 
180 ; picture in the Servi, 277. 

Giacomo di Castello, worker in 
stained glass, executes window 
for the Duomo, 167. 

Giacomo Cozzarelli. See Cozzarelli. 

Gilio di Pietro, painter (working in 
the middle of the thirteenth cen- 
tury), painted the portrait of Don 
Ugo on a Tavoletta di Biccherna, 

Giordano, Count, representative of 
King Manfred in Siena, n ; com- 
mands mercenaries at Montaperti, 
13-16, 18 ; contrasted by Malavolti 
with Piero Strozzi, 232. 

Giorgio di Giovanni, painter (work- 
ing in the middle of the sixteenth 
century), tavolette ascribed to 
him, 275 

Giotto da Bondone, architect, sculp- 
tor and painter (circa 1276-1336) 
referred to, no, 112; supposed 
design for his Campanile at 
Florence in the Sienese Opera del 
Duomo, 176 ; compared with 


Duccio, 177, 179 ; referred to, 
278 ; his death of St Francis, 359. 

Giovanna of Anjou, Queen of Naples, 
52, 63, 64, 65. 

Giovanni di Agostino, architect (son 
of Agostino di Giovanni), super- 
intends building of the new Duomo, 
150, 153. 

di Niccol6 Pisanp, architect 

and sculptor (born circa 1250 
died after 1328), chief architect or 
the Duomo, 99, 153 ; his tomb- 
stone, 153 ; one of the pupils of 
his father in the work of the pulpit, 

di Paolo, painter (died in 

1482), 109 ; works by him in the 
Istituto di Belle Arti, in; and 
elsewhere in Siena, 180, 251, 270, 

di Pietro, painter (painting 

in 1436), picture by him in the 
Servi, 278. 

di Stefano, architect and 

sculptor (son of Sassetta, died after 
1498), 102 ; work on pavement of 
Duomo, 155, 157; in the Chapel 
of the Baptist, 160, 161 ; bronze 
Angels by him, 167. 

da Verona, Fra, sculptor 

(working at the beginning of the 
Cinquecento), his intarsia work in 
the Duomo, 167 ; works at Monte 
Oliveto Maggiore, 322, 323. 

Girolamo di Benvenuto, painter 
(1470-1524), 114, 115; picture by 
him in the Istituto di Belle Arti, 
120 ; in the house of St Catherine, 
196 ; in Fontegiusta, 294. 

da Cremona, painter and 

miniaturist (end of Quattrocento), 

Magagni, called Giomo, 

painter (pupil of Bazzi), 118. 

Giunta Pisano, painter (working in 
the middle of the thirteenth 
century), miraculous Crucifix as- 
cribed to him in the House of St 
Catherine, 197. 

Gonzaga, Don Ferrante, 217. 

Giovanni Francesco, Mar- 

quis of Mantua, 131 (note). 
Gozzoli, Benozzo, painter (1420- 
1498), his works in the Collegiata 
of San Gimignano, 347, 349, 350 ; 
in Sant' Agostino there, 357-360 ; 
in Monte Oliveto, 362. 

General Index 

Gregorio da Siena, painter (early 

fourteenth century), 180. 
Gregory the Great, Pope, his 

Dialogues, 317, 322. 
XI., Pope (Pierre Roger de 

Beaufort), his relations with St 

Catherine, 51-57 ; return to Rome 

58 ; his rupture with St Catherine, 

58 ; references to, 59, 188, 197, 

Guido da Siena, painter (latter part 

of the thirteenth century), his 

Madonna in the Palazzo Pubblico, 


Giuoco delle Pugna, 130, 131, 239. 
Gori, Francesca, follower of St 

Catherine, 47, 62, 204. 
Goro di Neroccio, sculptor (early 

Quattrocento) work in Baptistery, 


Guidoguerra, Count, 12. 
Guido Novello, Count, 14, 



Hawkwood, Sir John, condottiere, 

29, 30, 40, 52. 
Henry VII., Roman Emperor 

(Luxemburg), 24, 177, 314, 315, 

Hurtado de Mendoza, Diego, 
Spanish Governor of Siena, 219, 


Illicini, Bernardo, novel list, 291 

Innocent VIII., Pope (Giovanni 

Battista Cibo, Malfetta), 76, 273, 



John XXII., Pope (Jacques d'Euse), 

Julius II., Pope (Giuliano della 

Rovere), 90, 92, 93. 
Julius III., Pope (Giovanni Maria 

del Monte), 241, 251. 

Landi, Neroccio di Bartolommeo, 
sculptor and painter (1447-1500), 
102, 109 ; pictures by in the Isti- 
tuto di Belle Arti, 114 ; his Helles- 

pontine Sibyl, 157 ; other works 
by him in the Duomo, 160, 161 ; 
statue of St Catherine in the 
oratory of Fontebranda, 192, 195 ; 
his pictures in the Palazzo Saracini, 
251 ; other works in Siena ascribed 
to him, 272, 278, 293. 

Lando, Pietro di, architect (working 
in 1339), superintends the build- 
ing of the new Duomo, 150, 153. 

Lanzi, Padre, quoted, 103. 

Landucci, Ambrogio, historian of 
Lecceto, 305, 306, 311. 

Lecceto, the Hermitage of San 
Salvatore di, 304-312. 

Leonardo al Lago, San, church and 
ruined hermitage, 312-313. 

Leo X., Pope (Giovanni de 1 Medici), 

.94' 97-. , 

Libertini, the, 210, 211, 214, 215. 

Lippi, Filippino, painter (1457-1504), 
his Annunciation at San Gimig- 
nano, 354. 

Lippo Memmi, painter (died about 
1356), 104 ; pictures in his manner 
in the Istituto di Belle Arti in 
Siena, 106 ; designs upper part of 
the Torre del Mangia, 135; his 
Madonna del Popplo in the Servi, 
278 ; his fresco in the Sala del 
Consiglio of San Gimignano, 352, 
353 remains of a fresco by him in 
Sant' Agostino at San Gimignano, 
357 ; works of his school in other 
churches there, 360, 362. 

Lippo di Vanni, painter (later Tre- 
cento), 107 ; fresco by him in the 
Palazzo Pubblico, 137, 138. 

Lorenzetti, Ambrogio, painter (work- 
ing in 1323, died in 1348), 23 ; is 
Siena's greatest master, 104; his 
works in the Istituto di Belle 
Arti, 106, 107 ; his frescoes in the 
Sala dei Nove, 139-141 ; other 
works by him, 147, 179, 270; 
frescoes by him in the Servi, 277, 
278 ; works in San Francesco, 
285 ; a Madonna by him in Sant' 
Eugenio,3oi ; frescoes of his school 
in Lecceto and San Leonardo, 309, 
310, 313. 

Pietro, painter (working be- 

tween 1305 and 1348), 104 ; pictures 
by him in the Istituto di Belle 
Arti, 106, 107 ; his works in the 
Opera del Duomo, 179 ; frescoes 
attributed to him in the Servi and 


General Index 

in San Francesco, 277, 284; pic- 
ture in San Pietro Ovile, 286. 

Lorenzo di Mariano. See Marrina. 

di Pietro. See Vecchietta. 

Luca di Tomme, painter (died in 
1381), 107, 108. 

Lucari, Buonaguida, Dictator before 
Montaperti, 13, 14. 

Luca di Bartolo, architect (middle of 
Quattrocento), 252. 

Luna, Don Juan de, Spanish Gover- 
nor of Siena, 218. 

Lupa, legend of origin of the, i. 

Luti, Lodovico, Sienese exile, 82 ; 
murdered by Pandolfo Petrucci, 


Machiavelli, Niccolo, on the 
Noveschi, 80; on Pandolfo's rise 
to power, 80^ 81 ; on Florentine 
interference in Sienese factions, 
83 ; on Antonio da Venafro, 85 ; 
his account of Cesare Borgia's 
attempt upon Siena, 86-88 ; his 
legation to Siena, 91 ; his appre- 
ciation of Pandolfo, 93 ; his corre- 
spondence with Francesco Vettori, 
215 (and note); at the Palazzo del 
Magnifico, 248. 

Maconi, Corrado, 289. 

Giovanna, letter of St 

Catherine to, 57. 

Lano, killed at Pieve del 

Toppo, 21. 

Stefano di Corrado, disciple 

of St Catherine, 48, 57, 59, 61, 62, 
66, 187, 289. 

Maiano, Benedetto da, sculptor 
(1442-1497), his Ciborium in San 
Domenico at Siena, 202 ; his shrine 
of Santa Fina, 348, 349 ; other 
work in the Collegiata of San 
Gimignano, 351 ; his shrine of San 
Bartolo, 356. 

Giuliano da, 

architect and 
sculptor (1432-1490), probably built 
the Rifugio and the Palazzo 
Spannocchi at Siena, 278, 290 ; 
altered the Collegiata of San 
Gimignano, 345 ; designed the 
chapel of Santa Fina, 348. 
Mainardi, Sebastiano, painter (died 
in 1513), portrait ascribed to him 
in the Palazzo Saracini, 251; native 


of San Gimignano, 342 ; his works 
there, 349, 351, 353, 356, 357, 362. 

Maitani, Lorenzo, architect and 
sculptor (died in 1330), the pre- 
siding genius of the Duomo of 
Orvieto, 99 ; his proposal to the 
General Council for a new Duomo 
in Siena, 149, 150. 

Malatesta, Malatesta dei, imperial 
vicar in Siena, 31-34, 37. 

Malavolti, family of the, 2, 5, 25, 37, 
40, 68 ; the Poggio de', 292. 

Filippo, leads Sienese cru- 
saders, 5 ; holds office of Podesta, 

Francesco, disciple of St 

Catherine, 47, 48. 
Girolamo, at Belcaro, 304. 

Maghinardo, podestk of San 

Gimignano, 327. 

Orlando, opposes the Duke 

of Milan, 68 ; is murdered, 68, 69. 

Orlando, historian of Siena, 

quoted or referred to, 18, 32, 33, 
73) 232 ; his embassy to Charles V. 
220, 222; his opposition to Piero 
Strozzi, 232. 

Malena, the, 17. 

Malfetta, Cardinal. See Innocent 
VIII., Pope. 

Mariano da Genazzano, Fra, 129 
130, 273. 

Manfred, King of Sicily and Apulia, 
10, u, 13, 18, 19. 

Manfredi da Sassuolo, podesta, leads 
the nobles against the people, 8. 

Marcellus II., Pope (Marcello 
Cervini), 159. 

Marrina (Lorenzo di Mariano), 
sculptor (died in 1534), 102 ; his 
chief works in Siena, 160, 247, 268, 
276, 294. 

Manetti, Rutilio, painter (1572- 
1639), 124, 125, 258, 266, 282. 292. 

Martini. See Simone and Fran- 
cesco di Giorgio. 

Martinozzi, Giovanni, a leader of 
the Noveschi, joins rising against 
Fabio Petrucci, 98, 210 ; exiled, 
212 ; in the papal camp before 
Siena, 213; harries the Valdi- 
chiana, 215 ; returns to Siena and 
is killed, 216. 

Matteino di Ventura Menzani, 
Captain of the People leads the 
Sienese against Charles IV., 33, 

General Index 

Matteo di Giovanni, painter (1435- 
1495), 109 ; pictures in the Istituto 
di Belle Arti, 114, 119; in the 
Palazzo Pubblico. 142, 143 ; work 
for Pavement of Duomo, 157, 158 ; 
other pictures by him in Siena, 
179, 265, 277, 292 ; in the National 
Gallery of London, 301 ; at 
Belcaro, 304; at Buonconvento, 

Marignano, Marchese di. See 
Medici, Gian Giacomo. 

Matilda, Countess. 2. 

Marciano, Battle of, 235. 

Medici, Cosiino de', Duke of Flor- 
ence (afterwards Grand Duke of 
Tuscany), 132, 222, 225, 226, 228, 
231, 232, 242-245, 275, 363. 

Galeotto de 1 , 98. 

Gian Giacomo, Marchese di 

Marignano, conducts the last 
war against Siena, 232, 233, 235, 
240, 241, 242 ; enters the city, 

Giovanni. See Leo X.. 

Pope, at Belcaro, 304. 

Giulio. See Clement VI!., 


Lorenzo, the elder, 74. 

Lorenzo, the younger, 97, 

Pietro, 81, 82. 

Memmi. See Lippo. 

Mendoza. See Hurtado. 

Michelangelo Buonarroti, architect, 
sculptor and painter (1475-1564). 
his work for the Piccolomini, 169, 
170 ; his letters to his nephew on 
the subject, 170; Bandini monu- 
ment ascribed to him, 170. 

Milanesi, Gaetano, 141, 179. 

Minuccio and Francesco di Rinaldo, 
architects of Perugia, build the 
Torre del Mangia, 132, 135. 

Montalcinello, Sienese defeat at, 30. 

Montalcino, quarrels between Siena 
and Florence concerning, 7, 10, n, 
12 ; humiliation of, 18 ; unsuccess- 
fully attacked by papal forces, 
213 ; besieged by the imperi- 
alists, 228, 231; last refuge of the 
Republic, 244 ; capitulates, 244 ; 
tavolette concerning, 275 ; view of, 
from Monte Oliveto, 315. 

Montaperti, Battle of, 14-17. 

Montemassi, n, 12, 137. 

Montepulciano, quarrels between 

Siena and Florence concerning, 
7, ii, 12; given to Siena by 
Manfred. 18 ; revolts after the fall 
of the Nine, 29 ; returns to Siena, 
29 ; lost again, 67 ; returns to 
Siena, Si, 82 ; restored to Florence 
by Pandolfo, 89, 92 ; St Catherine 
at, IQS. 

Monte Oliveto Maggiore, 314-323. 

Montereggioni, n, 76, 213. 

Montfort, Guy de, Vicar of Charles 
of Anjou, 20, 331. 

Montiuc, Blaise de, Marechal of 
France, takes command in Siena, 
233 ; his heroic defence of the 
Republic and his Commentaries, 
2 34. 2 -^5) 236, 239, 240, 242. 

Monticchiello, heroic defence of, 

Monti, the meaning of the term, 21, 
32, 33. See Dodicini, Gentilu- 
omini, Aggregati, Noveschi, 
Nobili Reggenti, Popolo, Rifor- 

Morelli, Giovanni, 115, 123. 

Moro, Cristoforo, Doge of Venice, 
i?4, 175 


Naddo di Francesco, Captain of the 
People, attempts to . suppress a 
rising, 38 ; plots, and is executed, 


Neroccio. See Landi. 

Neroni. See Riccio. 

Niccoli Pisano, architect and sculp- 
tor (circa 1206-1278), his coming 
to Siena marks an epoch, 09 ; 
influence of his style upon Gia- 
como della Quercia, 100 ; his pulpit 
in the Duomo, 162-166. 

Neri di Donato, chronicler, 34. 

Nine. See Nove. 

Nobili Rcggenti, Monte dez, 210, 


Nove, Magistracy of the, 21 ; their 
rule, 23-25 ; their fall, 26-28 ; their 
Sala, 139-141. 

Noveschi, the (Monte dei Nove), 
their beginning, 21, 32, 33, 37, 38, 
39, 41 ; share in the government, 
67, 69 ; struggle with the demo- 
cratic orders, 75 ; expelled from 
Siena, 76 ; their return, 77, 78 ; 
their prepotency in the State, 78- 
80 85 ; are divided among them- 


General Index 

selves, 98, 210 ; renewed struggle 
with the democratic orders, 211, 
213, 215 ; are deprived of all share 
in the government, 216; obtain a 
fourth part, 216 ; favoured by the 
imperial agents in Siena, 218, 219, 
220; allegory of their return, 274. 

Oriupli, Pietro di Francesco degli, 
painter (died in 1496), fresco by 
him in the Baptistery, 183 (and 

Osservanza, the, 298-301. 


Pacchia, Girolamodel, painter (1477- 
J 535), "6; his pictures in the 
Istituto di Belle Arti, 118, 120, 
123 ; his frescoes in the House 
of St Catherine, 195 ; in the 
oratory of San Bernardino, 285, 
286 ; altarpiece in San Cristo- 
fano, 289. 

Pacchiarotti, Giacpmo, painter 
(1474-1540), 115; pictures by, 119, 
120, 262 ; his political escapade, 
217, 218. 

Pagliaresi, Neri di Landoccio, dis- 
ciple and secretary of St Catherine, 
47, 56, 57. 195. 36. 

Paho, the, 130, 131. 

Pannocchieschi, Nello dei, 258. 

Pagano dei, Bishop of Vol- 

terra, 328. 

Ranieri dei, Bishop of Vol- 

terra, 320, 349- 3 6 5, 

Paolino da Pistoia, Fra, painter 
(1490-1547), fresco in Santo Spirito, 
282 ; pictures at San Gimignano, 
354. 362, 363. 

Paolo di Giovanni, painter (latter 
part of Trecento), 107, 108. 

di Maestro Neri, painter 

(active between 1343 and 1382), 
his frescoes at Lecceto, 309, 310. 

di Martino, sculptor (early 

Quattrocento), 158. 

Parri di Spinello, painter, 143. 
Pastprini, Pastorino, master in 

stained-glass, 159. 
Patrizi, Patrizio, companion of 

Bernardo Tolomd, 316. 


Paul IV., Pope (Giovanni Pietro 

Caraffa), 243. 

Pavement of the Duomo, 154-159. 
Pecci, family of the, Noveschi, 75. 
Giovanni Antonio, historian, 

94, 213. 

iovanni, canon, 214. 

Guido, represents Pandolfo 

Petrucci at La Magione, 86. 

Tommaso, his palace, 254, 


Pellari, Guelf family in San Gimig- 
nanp, 33L.333- 

Pecon, Luigi, historian of San 
Gimignano, 326, 333, 341, 355. 

Perugino, Pietro Vannucci, painter 
(1446-1523), 115; his picture in 
Sant' Agostino at Siena, 265. 

Peruzzi, Baldassare, architect and 
painter (1481-1536), 116, 117; an 
early work of his in the Istituto 
di Belle Arti, 118, 119; his porti- 
cato for the Campo, 126 ; early 
frescoes in the Duomo, 161, 162; 
designs the high altar, 167 ; other 
works ascribed to him, 177, 196, 
262 ; his praise of Beccafumi, 
262 ; designed the facade of 
Santo Spiriio, 281 ; his Sibyl in 
the Madonna of Fontegiusta, 294 ; 
his later work at Belcaro, 303. 

Petroni, Lodovico, member of the 
Balia, 145. 

Riccardo, Cardinal and de- 

cretalist, 162. 
Petronilla, Santa, skirmish at, 11. 
Pelori, Giovanni Battista, architect, 

Petrucci, family of the, leaders of 

the Noveschi, 75 ; are exiled, 76 ; 

return, 77, 78, 80 ; excluded from 

the government, 216. 
Agnolo, murdered by the 

people, 76. 

Alfonso di Pandolfo, receives 

the Cardinal's hat, 92 ; at the 
court of Leo X., 94 ; execution of, 

Antonio, plots against the 

State, 70. 

Antonio Maria, 257. 

Aurelia (Borghesi), wife to 

Pandolfo, 80. 
Bartolommeo, heads a rising, 


Borghese di Pandolfo, mar- 
ries Vittoria Piccolomini, 92 ; 

General Index 

succeeds to his father's despotism, 
93 ; his character, 93, 94 ; flies 
from Siena and is declared a rebel, 
94 ; goes mad, 98 ; entertains the 
younger Lorenzo de* Medici, 248. 
Petrucci. Celia. 300. 

Eustacchio, 98. 

Fabio di Pandolfo, flies from 

Siena and is declared a rebel, 94 ; 
re-enters Siena with papal aid, 98 ; 
his tyranny and expulsion, 98 ; 
made governor of Spoletp, 216. 

Francesco di Camillo, mur- 
ders Giulio Bellanti, 97 ; makes 
himself master of Siena, 98 ; mur- 
ders Marcello Saracini and is sum- 
moned to Rome, 98 ; threatens 
Massa, 215 ; restored to Siena, 
216 ; leads a tumult of the 
Noveschi, 216: is declared a 
rebel, 218. 

Giacoppo, 80, 81, 83 ; his 

palace, 257. 

Lattanzio, 97, 212. 

PANDOLFO, leads the 

Noveschi, 75 ; returns from exile, 
77, 78, 80 ; is given the command 
of the mercenaries, 80, 81 ; 
knighted by the King of France, 
81 ; makes himself master of 
Siena, 82, 83 ; his policy, 84 ; his 
murder of Niccoli Borghesi, 85, 
86 ; attitude towards France and 
the Borgia, 86 ; represented at La 
Magione, 86 ; assailed by Cesare 
Borgia, 87, 88 ; his exile decreed, 
88 ; leaves Siena, 89 ; supported 
by France and Florence, 89 ; re- 
enters Siena in triumph, 90 ; his 
despotism and treacherous policy, 
90, 91 ; conspiracy of the Bellanti 
against him, 91 ; character of the 
last years of his rule, 92, 93 ; his 
death, 93 ; his project for a porti- 
cato to the Campo, 126, 177; his 
palace, 248 ; site of his murder 
of Niccolo Borghesi, 253 ; bene- 
factor of Santo Spirito, 281 ; of the 
Osservanza, 298, 299; his tomb, 

Raffaello di Giacoppo, occu- 
pies Siena with papal aid, 94 ; 
alliance with the Medici and the 
Pope, 94, 95 ; butchers the Bellanti, 
97 ; is made a Cardinal, 97 ; 
tumult at his burial, 97, 98 ; his 
palace, 257^ 

Pettignano, Beato Piero, 21, 22. 
Philip II., King of Spain, 242 ; is 

invested with Siena as a vacant 

fief of the Empire, 243 ; cedes it to 

Cosimo de' Medici, 243. 
Pia, La, Sienese lady recorded by 

Dante, 258. 
Piccinino, Jacopo, his war upon 

Siena, 70, 112, 144, 145, 270, 271. 
Piccinelli. See Brescianino. 
Piccolomini, family of the, 2, 5, 25, 

27, 37, 40, 72, 73, 168 ; palaces of, 

25i. 252, 2 53, 254- 

Alessandro, bishop and man 

of letters, 168. 

Alfonso d'Aragona, Duke of 

Amalfi, 216, 218. 

Beato Ambrogio, 316. 

Andrea (di Nanni Todes- 

chini), received into the Monte del 
Popolo, 73 ; submits to the regime 
of the Noveschi, 78 ; intervenes 
between the rival factions, 82 ; 
one of the delegates from Siena to 
Cesare Borgia, 89 ; goes into 
exile, 90 ; his daughter married to 
Borghese Petrucci, 92 ; one of the 
heirs and executors of Pius III., 
his brother, 169 ; his palace, 267. 

Antonio, Archbishop of Siena, 


Antonio (di Nanni Todes- 

chini), Duke of Amalfi, 73. 

Ascanio (di Enea delle 

Papesse), Archbishop of Siena, 
168 ; his palace, 252 ; referred to, 

Caterina, sister of Pius II., 

wife of Bartolommeo Guglielmi, 
builds the Palazzo delle Papesse, 
251, 252 (and note). 

Enea delle Papesse, delivers 

Siena from the Spaniards, 225 ; 
escapes during the siege, 239 ; dies 
at Montalcino, 244. 



Francesco (di Nanni Todes- 

chini). See Pius III., Pope. 

Giacomo (di Nanni Todes- 

chini), received into the Monte del 
Popolo, 73 ; heir and executor of 
Pope Pius III., 169 : his palace, 

Giacomo di Anton Maria, 

refuses to marry the daughter of 
Don Juan, 218. 


General Index 

Piccolomini, Giovanni di Andrea, 
Cardinal Archbishop, 168. 

Giovanni Battista, leads the 

rising against Fabio Petrucci, 98. 


Girolamo, Bishop of Pienza, 


Guido di Carlo, Senator of 

Rome, 175. 

Laodomia, sister of Pius II. 

and wife to Nanni Todeschini, 73. 
Piero, 30. 

Silvio, father of Pius II., 


Tonimaso, Bishop of Pienza, 


Vittoria Forteguerri, mother 

of Pius II., 284. 

Vittoria di Andrea, wife of 

Borghese Petrucci, 92. 

lady of the family of, praised 

by Montluc, 234. 

See Bandini. 

Pier Francesco Fiorentino, painter 
(latter part of Quattrocento), his 
works in Siena, no, in; in San 
Gimignano, 348, 351, 353, 354, 356, 

Pietro di Domenico, painter, (1457- 
1501), 114, 293. 

Pietro di Lando, architect (still 
working in 1339), superintends the 
building of the new Duomo, 150, 

I 3- 

Pini, Giovanni Maria, leads the 
Sienese at the Battle of Camellia, 
214 ; heads a tumult of Noveschi, 

Pinturicchio Bernardino, painter 
(1454-1513), 115, 118 ; picture by, 
in the Istituto di Belle Arti in 
Siena, 124; his Story of Fortune, 
156 ; his frescoes in the Chapel of 
the Baptist, 161 ; his frescoes in 
the Library of the Duomo, 170-175 ; 
remains of works in the Palazzo 
del Magnifico, 248; his As- 
sumption at San Gimignano, 354. 

Pisano. See Giovanni, Giunta, and 

Pitigliano, Count Lodovico of, 212. 

Pietro del Minella. architect and 
sculptor (1391-1458), 101 ; work on 
pavement of Duomo, 158 ; on the 
font of the Baptistery, 182. 

Pius II., Pope, (Enea Silvio Pic- 
colomini), his early life, 71, 72 ; 


Bishop of Siena, 72 ; elected Pope, 
72; attempts to force the Sienese 
to admit nobles into the adminis- 
tration, 73 ; his benefits to Siena, 
73 ; creates Pienza, 74 ; his letter 
to the Balia about Calixtus III., 
112, 113 ; gives relics to the 
Duomo, 160 ; statue of, 162 ; 
Bishop of Siena and raises the See 
to an Archbishopric, 168 ; his 
nephew's devotion to, 168, 170 ; 
ten scenes from his life frescoed by 
Pinturicchio, 171-175 ; hisaccount 
of the meeting of Frederick and 
Leonora, 173 ; his enthusiasm for 
the Eastern Question and canon- 
isation of St Catherine, 174 ; his 
death, 174, 175 ; his episcopal 
ring, 1 80; referred to, 197 ; statue 
of, 265 ; Tavolette of Biccherna 
and Gabella concerning; him, 271 ; 
raises a monument to nis parents 
in the church, and stays in the 
convent of San Francesco, 284 ; 
his reception at the PortaCamollia, 
294 ; visits Lecceto, 312; his visit 
to Monte Oliveto, 323. 

Pius III., Pope (Francesco Tod- 
eschini Piccolomini), received into 
the Monte del Popolo, 73 ; medi- 
ates between the People and the 
Noveschi, 75 ; his pacific influence, 
77 ; accepts the new regime of the 
Noveschi, 78 ; presides at a solemn 
reconciliation in the Duomo, 78, 
79 ; his short papacy, 90 ; referred 
to as Cardinal, 129, 130 ; statue of 
in the Duomo, 162 ; Archbishop, 
168 ; orders the altar of the 
Piccolomini and his own tomb, 
168 ; his character, 168 ; his 
elevation to the papacy, attempt to 
reform the Church and untimely 
death, 169 ; builds the library of 
the Duomo, 170 ; fresco repre- 
senting his coronation, 170, 171; 
his contract with Pinturicchio, 171, 
175; a Tavoletta di Gabella con- 
cerning him, 271. 

Placidi, family of the, Noveschi, 216. 

Placidi, Aldello, 213. 

Neri, 76, 83. 

Poccetti, Bernardo, painter (1542- 
1612), 124, 343, 356. 

Pochmtesta da Bagnacavallo, con- 
dottiere, 90, 94, 97. 

Podesta, institution of the office in 

General Index 

Siena, 5, 6, 9, 10; institution of 
the office in San Gimignanp, 326, 
327; method of his election in 
latter town, 332, 333. 

Poggibonsi, destruction of the 
Castello of, 331. 

Poggio Imperiale, battle of, 74, 138. 

Pomarelli, architect, 177. 

Ponsi, Girolamo di Domenico, 
architect, 188. 

Pollaiuolo, Pietro, painter (1443- 
1496), his altarpiece at San 
Gimignano, 350. 

Popolani (in the special sense of 
members of the Monte del Popolo), 
^7 73) 75> 78? 79, and/tewzw. 

Popolo, Monte del, institution of, 
67; supports the Milanese suzer- 
ainty, 68; has a third of the 
Signoria, 69; the Todeschiui 
received into, 73 ; supports the 
Duke of Calabria, 74 ; gets control 
of the State, 75, 76; ousted by 
the Noveschi, 78; has still nomi- 
nally a third part of the govern- 
ment, 79 ; annulled with the other 
Monti, 210; restored, 211. 

Possa, El (Domenico di Michele), 

Provenzano Salvani. See Salvani. 

Madonna di, 283, 284. 

Provveditori. See Biccherna. 

Pugna, Giuoco delle. See Giuoco. 

Quercia, Giacomo delta, sculptor 
(1371 or 1374-1438), his life and 
work, 100, 101 ; his Fonte Gaia, 
127 ; sculptures of his school, 143, 
161 ; remains of his reliefs from 
the Fonte Gaia, 176 ; his work on 
the Font of the Baptistery, 181, 

Priamodella, painter (brother 

of Giacomo), his fresco in the 
Spedale, 186. 


Raimondo, Beato. See Vigne. 

Ramo di Paganello, sculptor (work- 
ing during the last twenty years of 
the Trecento), 99 ; his St Francis, 

Raphael, 171, 174, 175. 

Riformatori, origin of the Monte de', 
32, 33 ; their rule, 40 ; their down- 
fall, 41, 42 ; instance of their 
oppressive administration, 48 ; 
partially readmitted to the govern- 
ment, 69, 70 ; their Monte sup- 
pressed, 74 ; struggle with the 
Noveschi, 75, 76 ; are distributed 
among the three Monti, 79 ; rise 
against the Noveschi, 82 ; their 
Monte is restored, 216. 

Rinaldini, family of the, 48, 289. 

Riccio (Bartolpmmeo Neroni), archi- 
tect and painter (middle of Cin- 
quecento), 117, 123, 166, 167, 219 
(note), 262 ? 300, 320. 

Rinaldo, Mmuccio and Francesco 
di, architects, 135. 

Robbia, Ambrogio della (early Cin- 
quecento), sculptor, work in Santo 
Spirito, 282. 

Andrea della (1435-1525), 

sculptor, altarpiece in the Osser- 
vanza, 300. 

Robert of Geneva, Cardinal Arch- 
bishop of Cambrai, commands the 
papal army, 54; his sack of Cesena, 
58 ; elected pope, or antipope, as 
Clement VII., 62 ; supported 
by Giovanna of Naples, 63 ; St 
Catherine's description of his 
character, 63, 64. 

Robert of Anjou, King of Naples, 

Rustici, Francesco (Rustichino), 
painter (died in 1626), 124, 162, 

Rosselli, Matteo, painter (1578-1650), 
picture at San Gimignano, 360. 

Rossellino, Bernardino, sculptor and 
architect (1409-1464), probably de- 
signed the Palazzo delle Papesse, 

Sacchini, Enea, 214. 

Salimbeni, family of the, 2, 5 ; their 

feud with the Tolomei, 24, 25 ; 

their turbulent conduct, 30, 31, 

32, 33 ; in arms for the Emperor, 

33, 34 ; are factious against the 
burghers, 37 ; plot to seize Siena, 
39 ; are expelled, 40 ; their friend- 
ship with St Catherine, 50, 59; 
lead rising against the Milanese 
supremacy, 68 ; their palace, 290 ; 


General Index 

love stories connected with them, 
^ 290, 291. 
Sahmbeni, Agnolino di Giovanni, 

friend of St Catherine, 50. 

Arcangiolo, painter (latter 

part of Cinquecento), 124, 197,202, 

Ansel mo, hero of a novella., 
290, 291. 

Cangenova, 291. 

Cione, 50. 

Francesco, 68. 

Giovanni di Agnolino, am- 
bassador to the Emperor, 27 ; 
counsels moderation, 27, 28 ; is 
Podestk of Montepulciano, 29 ; 
accidentally killed, 30. 

Reame, 32, 291. 

Niccol6, 32, 33. 

Salimbene, 13. 

Ventura di Arcangiolo, 

painter (end of sixteenth century), 
124, 167. 

Salvani, Provenzano, ambassador to 
Manfred, n ; influential in the 
Republic, n, 12, 13 ; Podestk of 
Montepulciano, 18 ; the ruling 
spirit in Siena, 19 ; his act of 
humility, 19 ; is killed at Colle, 
20 ; referred to, 131, 283. 

Salvetti, family of Noveschi, 80. 

Paolo, 8 1. 

Salvi, Giulio, beheaded for treason, 

Ottaviano, Proposto, be- 
headed, 231. 

Salvini, Luca, 226. 
Salvucci, family of the, factious in 
San Gimignano, 328, 329, 333, 

337-339. 34. 345- 

SAN GIMIGNANO, its appearance, 
324, 325 ; its origin, 325, 326 ; 
early history of, 326, 327; wars 
with Volterra, 328 ; factions and 
change of government, 328, 329 ; 
Santa Fina of, 329, 330 ; follows 
the fortunes of the Guelfs, 331 ; 
its golden age, 332 ; San Bartolo 
and Dante at, 333, 334 ; its wars 
with Volterra and hostility to 
Henry VII., 334; its poet, 334, 
335 ; the conspiracy of the Baron- 
cetti, 335, 336 ; trouble with Flor- 
ence, 336 ; first submission to 
Florence, 337 ; the factious of the 
Ardinghelli and Salvucci, 337-339 : 
appeal of its poetic chronicler, 

339 ; final submission to Florence, 
340-342 : under Florentine rule, 
342 ; its painters and famous men, 
342, 343 ; its walls and towers, 
344 ; the Collegiata or Pieve, 345- 
351 ; the Palazzo Comunale, 351- 
354; other palaces and towers, 


Spedale di Santa Fina, 360, 361 ; 
San Girolamo and San Jacopo, 
361 ; the Porta della Fonte, 361 ; 
other churches and buildings, 362, 
363 ; Cellole, 363 ; the Rocca di 
Montestaffoli, 363, 364 ; a day of 
festa at the Town of the Beautiful 
Towers, 364, 365. 

Sano di Matteo, sculptor and archi- 
tect (working from 1392 to 1434), 
designed the Loggia di Mercanzia, 

- di Pietro, painter (1406-1481), 
109 ; his pictures in the Istituto 
di Belle Arti, in, 113; frescoes 
in the Palazzo Pubblico, 139, 147 ; 
other works by him in Siena, 251, 
258, 271, 293 ; his pictures in the 
Osservanza, 299, 300. 

Sansedoni, Frate Ambrogio, 305. 

Saracini, family of the, 2, 37 ; lead 
rising against the Riformatori, 41; 
take part in riot in the Campo, 
130 ; their palace, 248-251. 

Alessia, associate of St Cathe- 

rine, 47, 62, 66, 204. 


ppolito, hero of a novella^ 

Marcello, murdered, 98. 

Piero di Duccio, podesta of 

San Gimignano, 336. 

Sapia, the Dantesque legend 

of, 20, 22. 

Savini, Nanni, gives Belcaro to St 
Catherine, 303. 

Saviozzo. See Forestani. 

Savonarola, Fra Girolamo, reforms 
the convent of Santo Spirito at 
Siena, 268, 281 ; his preaching at 
San Gimignano, 350, 351, 362. 

Scotti, family of the, 41, 130. 

Senius, legendary founder of Siena, 

I, 2. 

Sermini, Gentile, novelist, 291. 
Schiatte Maggiori, the, 2, 31. 
Sigismund, Roman Emperor (Lux- 
emburg), 71, 72, 158, 270. 


General Index 

Signorelli, Luca, painter(i44i-i523), 

113, 118, 119, 202, 248 ; his frescoes 

at Monte Oliveto Maggiore, 317, 
320, 321. 

Segna di Tura, painter (working in 
the early years of the Trecento), 
103, 104, 105. 

Sfondrato, Francesco, 218, 274. 

Accademia di Belle Arti. See 

S. Agostino, 265, 266. 

Archivio di Stato, 268. 

S. Barbara, 295. 

Baptistery. See San Giovanni 
di Siena. 

S. Bernardino, 285, 286. 

Biblioceca Comunale, 291, 292. 

Campansi, 293. 

Campo, 126-132. 

Carmine, 261, 262. 

Casato, 266. 

Casino de' Nobili. See Loggia di 

S. Caterina (House and Oratories 
of). 191-198. 

Castello Vecchio, 248, 258, 261. 

Cimitero della Misericordia, 266, 

Consuma, Casa della, 292, 293. 

S. Cristofano, 289. 

Croce del Travaglio, 246. 

Duomo, 149-170. 

S. Domenico, 201-208. 

Fontebranda, 190. 

Fonte Gaia, 126, 127. 

Fontegiusta, 293, 294. 

Fonte Nuova, 292. 

S. Francesco, 284, 285. 

S. Giacomo in Salicotto, 276. 

S. Giorgio, 282. ^ 

S. Giovanni di Siena, 180-183. 

S. Giovanni in Pantaneto, 282. 

S. Girolamo, 277. 

Istituto delle Belle Arti, 103-124. 

dei Sordo-muti, 261. 

Libreria del Duomo, 170-176. 

Loggia di Mercanzia, 247. 

Loggia del Papa, 275, 276. 

S. Maria degli Angioli, 281. 

S. Maria Assunta, 149-170, 

S. Maria delle Nevi, 292. 

S. Maria di Provenzano (of the 
Visitation), 283, 284. 

S. Maria dei Servi (of the Con - 
ception), 277, 278. 

S. Martino, 276. 

SIENA c ontinued. 
Mercato, 148. 
Opera del Duomo, 176-180. 
Palazzo Bichi, 289. 
Buonsignori, 257. 

Chigi, 254. 

Forteguerri, 252. 

Petrucci, 248. 

Piccolomini dei Papeschi 

(del Governo), 267-275. 

Piccolomini delle Papesse, 

251, 252. 

Marsili, 252. 

Pecci (del Capitano), 

254. 2 57- 

_ Pubblico (Comunale, or 

de' Signori), 132-148. 

Reale, 257. 

del Rifugio, 278. 

Salimbeni, 290, 291. 

Saracini (Marescotti) 


Spannocchi, 290. 

Tolomei, 289. 

Turchi (de' Diavoli), 


- Ugurghieri, 266. 

- del Vecchio, 290. 
S. Pietro Ovile, 286. 

S. Pietro alle Scale, 258 

Porrione, 266. 

Porta Fontebranda, 302. 

- Camellia, 294, 295. 

- S. Marco, 262. 

- Ovile, 240, 292. 

- Pispini, 281. 

Romana, 278, 281. 
-- Salaia, 247. 

- Tufi, 266. 
Postierla, Piazza, 253, 254. 
Pozzo della Diana, 262. 
Saucotto, 261. 

S. Quirico, 276. 

S. Sebastiano in Valle Piatta (degli 
Innocenti), 188. 

- in Camollia, 293. 
S. Spirito, 281, 282. 
Stalloreggi, 258, 261. 
Torre di S. Ansano, 261. 

- de' Forteguerri, 252. 

- del Mangia, 132, 135. 

- Miganelli, 289. 

Sixtus IV., Pope (Francesco della 
Rovere), 74. 272. 

Simone Martini, painter (circa 1285- 
1344), his style, 104 ; his frescoes 
in the Palazzo de' Signori, 135- 


General Index 

137 5 picture by him in Sant' 

Agostino, 265, 266 ; imitation of 

his manner, 286. 
Sorri, Pietro, painter (1556-1622), 

124, 168, 197. 
Sozzini, Alessandro, diarist of the 

siege, 218, 219, 222, 224, 225, 226, 

227, 228, 232, 234, 235, 236, 239, 

Bartolommeo instrumental 

in the return of the Noveschi, 78 ; 

Captain of the People, moves to 

reduce the four Monti to one, 272. 

Fausto, 282. 

Lelio, 282. 

Ottavio, 226. 

Spannocchi, Ambrogio, 290. 

Fabio, 242. 

SpinelloAretino, painter (1335-1410), 

pictures in the Istituto di Belle 

Arti, 108 ; frescoes in the Sala di 

Balia, 143, 144. 

Stefano di Giovanni, " Sassetta," 

' painter (died in 1450), 109, no, 300. 

Strozzi, Benedetto di Giovanni, his 

judicial murder of the Ardinghelli, 

Strozzi, Piero, vicar - general of 

France in Siena, 232, 233 ; his 

defeat at Marciano, 235 ; 236, 239, 

240, 301. 


Taddeo di Bartolo, painter (1363- 
1422), his works in Siena, 108, 141, 
142, 180, 187, 277, 284 ; at San 
Gimignano, 345-347. 35*. 353- 

Tagliacozzo, Battle of, 19. 

Talamone, Port of, purchased by 
Siena, 23; Urban V. received at, 
30 ; Charles IV. demands posses- 
sion of, 33; St Catherine negoti- 
ates with Gregory XI. concerning, 
58, 59 ; represented in a fresco by 
Ambrogio Lorenzetti, 140; occu- 
pied by Andrea Doria, 212 ; re- 
tained by Spain as part of the 
Praesidia, 243 ; Dante's reference 
to it in the Purgatorio, 262. 

Tavolette di Bicchema. e di Gabella^ 

Tino di Camaino, architect and 
sculptor (died in 1336), 99, 134, 

Tini, Fra Niccol6, prior of Lecceto, 


Tournon, Cardinal de, 224. 
Todeschini, Nanni, brother-in-law 

of Pius II., received into the 

Monte del Popolo, 72. 
Todeschini, family of the, declared 

popolani, 72. See Piccolomini. 
Toldo, Niccol6 di, his execution, 48- 

50; scene of, 148; Bazzi's repre- 
sentation of, 204. 
Tegliacci, Niccol6 di Ser Sozzo, 

miniaturist, 275, 350. 
Tamagni, Vincenzo, painter (1492- 

1533). 342, 343, 350, 356, 357. 361, 

Tolomei, family of the, 2, 5 ; their 

palace, 6, 9 ; head the Guelfs, 19 ; 

factious against the Salimbeni, 24, 

25. 3. 37' 48, 68, 289 ; their palaces, 


Beato Bernardo, 23, 26 ; 

Bazzi's picture of, 139 ; 266, 289 ; 
his life and work, 315, 316, 317. 

Cavolino, the slayer of 

Provenzano Salvani, 20. 

Giacomo, converted by St 

Catherine, 47. 

Girolamo, ambassador to 

Charles V., 220; his report, 222; 
is poisoned, 224. 

Guccio, 27. 

Lelio, patriotic address to 

the Senate, 222 ; is poisoned, 224. 

Mino, father of B. Bernardo, 


Nello di Mino, Podest* of 

San Gimignano, 353. 

Torrita, Victory of the Sienese at, 
zg ; represented in the Palazzo de' 

Signori, 137, 138. 
[Yoghisio, Fr 

Troghisio, Francesco, Podesta of 

Siena at Montaperti, 14. 
Tura, Agnolo di, chronicler, his 

account of the Black Death, 25, 


Turchi, Biagio, murdered, 76. 
Turino di Sano, sculptor (early 

Quattrocento), 101, 181, 182. 
Turino, Giovanni di, sculptor (1384- 

1455)1 TOT, 142, 160, 181, 182. 
Twelve. See Dodicini. 
Twenty-four, Magistracy of the, 7, 

8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 20. 


Uberti, Farinata degli, 10, 12. 
Fazio degli, 26. 

General Index 

Uberti, Neri degli, Podesta of San 

Gimignano, 329, 331. 
Ufficiali sopra tomato, 246, 247, 

267, 286. 

Ugurghieri, family of the, 266. 
Giovanni, fell at Montaperti, 

Urban V., Pope (Guillaume 
Grimoard), at Talamone, 30. 

VI., Pope (Bartolommeo 

Prignani), elected Pope, 59; 
makes peace with Florence, 60; 
his character, 61 ; his relations 
with St Catherine, 62, 63 ; his 
struggle with the Clementines, 
63, 64 ; St Catherine's last letter 
to him, 65 ; he is assailed by the 
Romans, 65 ; his fall, 65. 

Urbano da Cortona, architect and 
sculptor (died 1504), 102, 157, 158, 
159, 160, 171 (note), 192, 252, 284. 


Vaga, Perino del, painter (1500- 
1547), 159. 

Valori, Filippo, 81. 

Vanni, Francesco, painter (died in 
1609), 124, 162, 197, 204, 205. 

. See Andrea and Lippo. 

Vasari, Giorgio, 116, 117, 123, 124, 
258, 262, 265, 317, 320. 

Vasto, Marchese del, 217. 

Vecchietta, II (Lorenzo di Pietro), 
architect, painter, and sculptor 
(1412-1480), 101, 102, 109, no, 
119, 139, 247. 

Venafro, Antonio da, secretary of 
Pandolfo Petrucci, 84 ; urges the 
murder of Niccol6 Borghesi, 85 ; 
messenger to Cesare Borgia and re- 
presents Pandolfo at La Magione, 
86 ; interviewed by Machiavelli, 
91 ; his answer to a Pope, 92 ; 
secures the succession of Borghese 
Petrucci, 93 ; by whom he is 
banished, 94. 

Ventura, Niccol6 di Giovanni, 
Sienese chronicler, on the Battle 
of Montaperti, 16. 

Venturini, Camillo, avenges the 
death of his father, 78. 

Lorenzo di Antonio, 78, 273, 

274 (note). 

Vettori, Francesco, his letters to 
Machiavelli on the rout of 
Camollia, 215 (and note). 

Vico, the Prefetto di. 40. 

Vieri, Giulio, 242. 

Vigne, Fra Raimondo delle, con- 
fessor and biographer of St 
Catherine, 47 ; her letter to him, 
48-50 ; he goes to John Hawk- 
wood, 52; at Avignon, 56, 57; 
St Catherine appeals to Gregory 
XI. through him, 58 ; he is sus- 
pected by the Sienese, 59 ; St 
Catherine's letter to him on the 
Florentine tumult, 60 ; at Rome, 
62; St Catherine rebukes his 
pusillanimity, 64 ; her last letter 
to him, 66 ; his report of her 
reception of the Stigmata, 197 ; 
picture of, by Francesco Vanni, 
205 ; referred to, 207, 208. 

Villani, Giovanni, Florentine chroni- 
cler, ii (note), 16 (note), 331. 

Matteo, Florentine chroni- 
cler, 339, 340, 363. 

Villari, Pasquale, 16 (note), 91. 
Visconti, Bernab6, tyrant of Milan, 

relations with St Catherine, 51; 

dethroned, 67. 

Giovanni Galeazzo, tyrant 

of Milan, attempts the conquest 
of Italy, 67 ; made Duke of Milan, 
68 ; obtains the suzerainty ot 
Siena, 68 ; dies, 68. 

Vito di Marco, sculptor (late 

Quattrocento), 156, 157. 
Vittorio Emanuele II., frescoes 

concerning him in the Sala Monu- 

mentale, 144. 
Volterra, Bishops of, 313, 326-331. 


Wenceslaus, King of the Romans 
(Luxemburg), 68. 

Zuccantini, Claudio, Captain of the 
People, 220 ; his oration in the